Parent: Catherine Leake
Adopting: 1 month old girl with Down Syndrome
Location: Sterling, KS
Other Children Ages: 13, 12, 7, 7, 4, 2
Catherine is not only a mom, she is an adoptive and foster care Wonder Mom! Over the years, Catherine has served as a teacher in several states (and another country!), worked with inner city youth outside of Los Angeles, and has opened her home to countless children. Catherine has adopted 6 amazing children, and is fostering another. Quite unexpectedly, Catherine received a call about a little one born premature and with Down Syndrome. Catherine was chosen by her birth mother to parent Tatum Faith.
Catherine has wanted to be a mom since she was a toddler. She grew up loving on kids with many different special needs and always dreamed of the day that she would be married and could adopt kids that needed a forever home.
Teaching students with special needs, volunteering, being a foster parent, and working overseas have been a joy and have continually lit that passion in her heart. While she never imagined that she would be a single parent and didn't enter foster care with that in mind, she adores the five forever children that came through foster care. They are such treasures and she loves every minute with them. Since they came to her through foster care, she spent the first several years of their placements working hard with their birth families trying to empower them to get their kids back. Catherine shares that she doesn't regret that time at all, but she has always longed to hold a baby from day one and know that she is her baby forever.
Catherine has fostered many children of all ages with complex special needs. Her kids have a heart for children from hard places or those with different abilities because of their own trauma and special needs. For several years the kids have asked, and they prayed, about adopting a baby someday. Catherine had far less hope than they did that that would ever happen or even that they should pursue that as a single parent home. But, they began to earnestly pray that they would be faithful to whatever plan God had for them and that He would make it clear.
God did make it clear, and brought a 6th little blessing to the home: Elliot. Elliot was born with Down syndrome. Her mother chose Catherine and Catherine's family to raise Elliot. 35Kcampaign sponsored Elliot's adoption in 2020.
After Elliot's adoption, Catherine continued to foster and transition children back to their families or forever homes. Unexpectedly, Catherine received a call about another little girl born prematurely and with Down syndrome. A little over two weeks from receiving that call, Catherine was chosen by Tatum's family to raise her. Tatum means cheerful bringer of joy; all the other children agree, she has brought so much joy already!