Family formed under unique circumstance

Published 8:43 pm Monday, March 1, 2010

By By Kerry Whipple Bean

Glenn and Jackie Davis had never been able to have children of their own.
April Booker had never known the love of a mother and father.
Together, they are forging a new family, with Glenn and Jackie acting as foster parents — and hopeful adoptive parents — of Booker’s three children. Booker, who graduated from Escambia County Family Drug Court on Friday, visits the Davis home in Conecuh County every weekend.
The Davises’ journey toward parenthood has been long. Ten years ago they considered becoming foster parents, but Glenn knew it would be a difficult situation emotionally if the children went back to their families.
But about a year ago, a physician and friend told them about Booker’s children, Zachary, now 3, and Sonia, who is almost 5.
Booker, meanwhile, was making her way through the family drug court, finally clean after many years of substance abuse during which, she said, “I didn’t care. I just wanted to use.”
Booker told supporters gathered at her graduation Friday that she had known so much turmoil in her own childhood that she didn’t know how to provide the right environment for her own children.
That home is with the Davises, who took foster parenting classes and are working their way toward adopting the children.
Glenn recalled that during the couple’s first weekend with the older children, they marveled at how polite the toddlers were.
Sonia and Zachary quickly took to calling them “Mom” and “Dad.”
The more the couple learned about Booker, the more they opened their hearts to her as well.
Booker, in turn, calls Jackie and Glenn her “angels.”
Last year, Booker decided it would be the right thing to give custody of all three of her children to the Davises. “They have the best of both worlds,” Booker said. “They have two mothers and a father. I never had that.”
The goal of drug court is to reunify parents and children, and Judge Dave Jordan said Booker’s story does that — just not in the way anyone originally planned.
The unique situation could be awkward, but the Davises and Booker simply make it work.
For Booker, being able to be part of a family that includes her children is better than any high she ever experienced when she was using drugs.
Booker calls her new family “a miracle.”