Greensboro family says adoption is “the most rewarding thing you could do in your life”

James and Tonya Dickens, a Greensboro family, are no strangers when it comes to adopting children and understanding the process. They want to help debunk some misconceptions out there surrounding adoption or fostering children.

One of the main reasons they believe people don’t want to foster or adopt is money.

“That’s the biggest thing, especially in the African American communities people think you have to have perfect credit, own your home, you have to have x amount of income every year, I think that’s the biggest thing I hear that its expensive,” Tonya said.

Another fear could be if a foster child has past trauma. Tonya doesn’t agree with that, she said, “All kids have trauma even in biological homes, single parents homes, or two parent homes there’s a lot of trauma. That’s a big misconception, people label kids that are in foster care or adoptive, but it happens to everybody’s kids.”

It was around 15 years ago when the Dickens parents welcomed sisters Jasmine and Rebecca as their first adoptive children, then siblings Austin and Nicole and then youngest son, Kashad.

“And I’m an only child, never in my life did I think about having a large family,” Tonya said.

Tonya knew she wanted to adopt since she was a little girl, because she said she wanted to impact adopted children’s lives for generations to come.

People can find the whole Dickens family at Savor the Moment Bakery and Dessert Café in downtown Greensboro. It’s a family affair from baking, to paying bills to design.

“Where we are now in the short amount of time being open without the support of kids we wouldn’t be here, it’s a great opportunity or them as well they can establish businesses and learn habits in their careers whatever they decide to do, ” Tonya said.

In the family’s personal experience through adoption, James shared this sentiment;

“The adoptive child will do more for you than what you would do for the adoptive child. They will teach you more about yourself and you will become a much better person. It’s probably the most rewarding thing you could do in your life, because when you develop that relationship, there’s nothing like it in the world.”


This story originally aired on WXII, and we thank Audrey Biesk for the interview.

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