"When we started this whole thing, I really felt deeply like I had this vision of these two children in my heart," Willow said. "We are the ones who believe we're lucky. They're doing more for us than we're doing for them. It's not just us doing the giving. They bring so much joy and so much laughter. We're definitely enriched."

Successful adoptive parent

Founding officer of the Michigan Chapter

Adoption vs. Foster Care

Foster Care:

  • Temporary placement
  • Birth parent rights still intact
  • Visitation with birth family occurs weekly (time depends on age of the child)
  • Requires being licensed through the State of Michigan
  • Ongoing requirements (training, annual updates to license, etc.)
  • Placement of child can occur on sudden, emergency basis
  • Matched with child by receiving placement phone calls from agency
  • Goal: reunification



  • Permanent placement
  • Birth parents rights have been terminated
  • No visitation with birth family required
  • Requires being approved by Judson Center
  • No ongoing requirements
  • Placement of child occurs slowly through pre-placement visitation
  • Matched with child utilizing the MARE website   
  • Goal: permanency 

Due to the nature of the work we do, Judson Center upholds the privacy of the children, adults and families we serve. Therefore, photos and names may be changed to protect identity.