CENTERTON , Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — After Alaya and Kavlin Hardy saw how successful it was for friends and coworkers to adopt through foster care in Arkansas, they decided to give it a shot.
“There’s children out there, just like we were children at one point, who need parents,” Alaya said.
The Hardys decided to attend an informational event to learn more about about the process of fostering and adopting and before it was over, Kalvin already had the paperwork filled out.
Kalvin said, “Kids need someone in their life that’s going to take care of them, that’s going to look after them, that’s going to love them, that’s going to care for them.”
Soon after they were approved as a foster family they welcomed a little girl into their home.
Over the 2.5 years they raised her, the fell in love with her.
They had hoped to adopt her, but she ended up being adopted by a family who took in her and all her siblings.
The Hardys were devastated.
Alaya said, “You do kind of go through that grief process of having a kid for that long and then them not being in your home anymore.”
The Hardys took a few months to emotionally heal from the sudden life change, but they didn’t give up on their dream to expand their family and help find homes for kids in the foster care system.
They started attending connection events hosted by Project Zero, where prospective families can go to meet with Arkansas foster children who are eligible for adoption.
It was there where a little girl named Fallon caught their eye.
“When we finally got to meet her she came up and gave us a hug, and she’s been hugging us every since,” Alaya said.
Fallon moved in with the Hardys, and within a few months, her placement was finalized.
Come November, the now five-year-old will have shared the families last name for a year.
“It just seems like she’s always been apart of our family,” Alaya continued, “We just couldn’t imagine our lives without her.”
Even after adopting Fallon, the Hardys have kept their home open to kids in foster care.
They have taken care of babies and teens of all different needs and backgrounds, which they say highlights a need for more diversity among foster families.
“We’re very grateful that families take in people who don’t look like them especially when they adopt them, so we have a lot of trans-racial adoptions. But, representation does matter,” Alaya said.
The Hardys say they want to encourage more families to adopt through foster care.
“Just know that you’re not in this battle alone. You’re going to have your ups, your downs, your good times, your bad times,” Kalvin said.
In their few years as foster parents, and now as mom and dad to Fallon, the Hardys have helped a lot of kids, even if just for a few days. They say they have been the ones who have gotten more in return.
“Everyone says ‘Oh my gosh, you were such a blessing to Fallon,’ but Fallon’s definitely a blessing to us as well,” Alaya said.