The Topping Family
As any mother can tell you, there is a magical moment when you meet your child for the first time. There are many ways to describe it – a deep connection, an unbreakable bond, a spiritual experience. Dawn and Meghan Topping describe it as falling in love.
After years of trying to have a baby, the couple knew they wanted a family but were unsure of how to move forward. When a close friend recommended Sierra Forever Families after their own successful experience, Dawn and Meghan jumped on board. After completing the certification process in 2012, they waited, with the expectation that it could be months before the possibility of adopting a child occurred. However, to their surprise, they received a call just two weeks later about a young brother and sister in need of a forever home.
It didn’t take long for the Toppings to know that Kyleigh and Beckham were meant to be their children – in fact; it only took about 30 seconds. After corresponding via video calls, emails and photos, the Toppings had already created strong bonds with the kids. “We totally fell in love before we got to meet. So when we met, they ran out of their house and were very familiar with our faces and it was very emotional, “ Meghan says. “It was very lived-in and comfortable from the get-go. I think Dawn even changed a diaper within one minute of being there.”
Dawn and Meghan officially adopted Kyleigh (6) and Beckham (5) in September 2012 and quickly began to bond and develop as a family. The couple has helped the children overcome major milestones, like potty training and beginning school. Even more so, they have focused on instilling a deep-rooted sense of security with the children, teaching them about unconditional love and ensuring they know that they will always be their parents. “The first year was a lot of trust-building. Explaining that, yes, when we said forever home, this is your forever home and we’re not going anywhere,” shares Dawn. “You can make bad choices and we’ll still love you and we’re still your moms.”
Today, Kyleigh and Beckham are flourishing as happy, healthy children. Kyleigh has a natural flair for the dramatic and loves to perform and play dress up. She also has fun trying out different sports – from gymnastics to soccer – and has made many friends at school. Beckham also loves to play dress up, use his imagination to tell stories, and is proving to be quite the athlete. At just about one year apart, the siblings have maintained a close connection with each other and at most times are “inseparable.” Kyleigh and Beckham have also formed tight bonds with Dawn’s daughter from a previous marriage, Sydney (25).
Looking back on their experience with Sierra Forever Families, Dawn and Meghan note that they couldn’t have asked for more and would encourage other interested families to get involved. “There are so many kids that need forever homes. The system isn’t set up necessarily for kids to have long durative lives in the foster care system,” says Dawn. “They really do need a sense of permanency. So this is a great gift for anybody to provide for a child and the gift goes both ways. The amount of greatness that they give to us everyday – you can’t measure that.”
Story by Julia McCandless