An Unexpected Christmas Gift Monday, Mar 23, 2015 Page Image Page Content A week before Christmas, Shawna was born to a mother and father who were addicted to drugs and unable to care for her. From the very start, this innocent newborn appeared to have a grim future.There were no relatives living in the area who could take Shawna in so she was placed in foster care with Maria and Thomas Franklin. The Franklins had been Boys Town Texas Foster Parents for two years, and were thrilled by the opportunity to take in the infant.The Franklins became Foster Parents with the hope of one day adopting a child. With Shawna’s mother and father struggling with addiction and in trouble with the law, it soon became apparent this might be the time.Shortly after Shawna’s placement with the Franklins, her parents were arrested and eventually jailed. Not long after, their parental rights were terminated.When no relatives came forward to offer to care for or possibly adopt Shawna, the Franklins, with Boys Town’s support, moved forward with the adoption process.The Franklins’ decision to adopt Shawna had been easy. They had fallen in love with the little girl right away. But to make the adoption a reality, the couple had to attend many trainings, meetings, appointments and court appearances.Throughout the process, the Franklins maintained their professionalism as Boys Town Foster Parents and juggled their schedules around their full-time jobs to meet all the adoption requirements. Their desire to provide a loving home for the baby girl they loved so much carried them through the sometimes-arduous process.The day finally arrived when Maria and Thomas officially welcomed Shawna into their family.Initially, there were concerns that Shawna might have some problems due to her mother’s substance use during her pregnancy. The good news is that Shawna is thriving with the Franklins and has met every developmental milestone.Thanks to Boys Town and the remarkable commitment the Franklins had to provide a forever home for an abandoned infant, a healthy, happy Shawna will turn 3 next Christmas. And, she has been given the greatest gift of all — a loving, stable family that makes sure she has everything she needs to grow and succeed. The stories provided about the children and families in our care are real. In some cases, names may be changed and details altered to protect their privacy and therapeutic interests.