LIZANA, MS (WLOX) - It's little Caleb's first Thanksgiving as an Alfonso. His parents Terry and Tracy Alfonso finalized his adoption this past July.
"Anytime you adopt until it's final there's always a bit of fear in your mind that it won't go through. But, when it goes through and it's done and they're last name is yours, it's just a wonderful feeling. That is your child and he will always be your child," Caleb's mom, Tracy Alfonso says.
Since Caleb was five months old, he's lived as a foster child with the Alfonsos. Father Terry says he came to live with them one weekend and never left.
But, two-year old Caleb wasn't the first to be adopted into the Alfonso family. Two years ago, the family adopted four-year old T.J. The Alfonsos have one biological daughter, Ali 14, who Tracy says has been the ideal big sister for the boys.
"We included her in that decision and made sure it was something that she was going to be accepting of and she has been from the get go," says Tracy Alfonso.
The family says the boys arrival was a natural fit, like the two were meant to be a apart of the family all long.
"There's no difference in my heart for any of my children," says dad Terry.
As Tracy Alfonso sits on the couch beside her daughter, she reads a poem she feels describes the love she has for her boys.
"Not flesh of my flesh...not bone of my bone..but still miraculously my own. Never forget for a single minute; you didn't grow into my heart but in it," Tracy reads.
With more than 800 coast kids in foster care according to the Department of Human Services, the Alfonsos have become vocal advocates of foster care and adoption. They hope their story will inspire other families to follow their lead.
"There's a huge need for foster families on the coast. All these children need is love, and they need a home," Tracy says.
Though the Alfonsos say their family has never felt more complete, they always have room, they say, for one more at the table.
If you're interested in foster care or adoption, you can call the Department of Human Services' adoption division. For Harrison and Hancock counties, you can call 228-897-5790. For Jackson, George and Greene counties, call 228-769-3444.