Christmas will be extra special for Amway employee Latricia Trice and her family this year. That’s because it comes at the end of a year marked by milestones and accomplishments amid myriad challenges.
Latricia recently accepted a new role at Amway, leaving the marketing team at Amway North America to become a senior corporate citizenship specialist focusing on empowering women, a job that speaks to her passion.
She and her husband, Robert, also co-lead a young church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, juggling a growing congregation amid COVID restrictions. And they are the parents of three rambunctious kids ages 8, 4 and 2.
It’s that role that makes this holiday extra special and has recently taken center stage in their lives. While their 8-year-old son, Caleb, is their biological son, Latricia and her husband, Robert, fostered and this year officially adopted their daughters A’Rayah, 4, and Olivia, 2. It will be their first holiday as an “official” family where everyone has the same last name.
In November, to mark National Adoption Month, the Trice family took on the duties of ambassadors for Samaritas, their adoption agency. They have been busy sharing their story with as many people as they can to help encourage others who may be considering adoption as a path to growing a family.
“We tried to be honest and real about the experience so people really understand,” Latricia said. “Everybody’s story is different.”
Latricia and Robert’s story started in the fall of 2018 when she had a miscarriage.
“It was my third miscarriage, and we learned about my two little cousins,” Latricia said. “Olivia wasn’t born yet, but her sister was in foster care and no one in our family at the time was able to take them in. So, I talked to Robert and said what do you think about this?”
‘We have room in our hearts’
They discussed it and prayed about it. “Ultimately, we said, you know, we have room in our home and in our hearts.”
Within weeks, A’Rayah, 2 at the time, came to live with them. In January of 2019, Olivia joined them at just 3 days old.
“We went from one to three kids in a matter of months. It’s been so awesome to see three kids come together and truly see themselves as brother and sisters,” she said. “They love each other. It’s really opened my heart in ways that I didn’t know it could be widened.”
When it came time earlier this year to adopt the girls and make their family official, the coronavirus hit in Michigan and everything was shut down. Latricia said they considered postponing the April event so they could experience the memorable courtroom celebration, but they didn’t want to wait any longer.
“I asked the question, what about Zoom, could we do a Zoom ceremony?” she said. “The judge hadn’t done it before, but he said yes. So, we invited our friends and family to join us and we had a very emotional and just awesome ceremony through Zoom.
“At the end, A’Rayah said, ‘I’m officially a Trice. My last name is Trice now.’ So that meant a lot to her as well.”
Support from family and friends
When telling their story, Latricia and her husband give thanks to support they received throughout the foster and adoption process and which they still receive today, especially from their community at Relevant Church and from Latricia’s Amway family.
“When we made the decision to foster, my Amway family supported me in such a huge way,” Latricia recalled. They showered them with everything they needed to bring a toddler and infant into their loving home.
“They have played a major role in helping our family transition go smoothly. That has been a treasure to me,” she said. “It shows the power of the community at Amway. I really feel people at Amway live out the values of the organization, not just in the work they do but in the way they live their lives.”
The story continues
National Adoption Month may be coming to a close, but the Trices are not done sharing their story. They launched a family blog on Instagram, @TricePartyof5, to continue to tell their story of adoption and be a resource for others.
“What we’ve realized is that there’s a lot of people who have questions,” Robert said in a video announcing the channel. “There’s a lot of people who may have thought about it but might be a little bit hesitant. We decided we want to be a resource.”
Latricia said they know they will face a lot of questions and challenges as their children grow up.
“The journey doesn’t stop just because you adopt,” she said. “We just really want to showcase that and show the realness of a family, especially when you’re going from foster and adoption and what that looks like in building your forever family.
“Really, it’s just all about love.”
For more information about the Samaritas foster and adoption program, visit Samaritas.org.