Local family celebrates 5-year anniversary of bringing foster child into their home by giving back

It was five years ago today that baby Annabelle started her life with the Bunnell family of Springville.

“I’ll never forget the day we saw her,” said Autumn Bunnell, Annabelle’s adoptive mom.

Annabelle was just 2 months old and had a world of health issues when Autumn and Gary Bunnell took her into their hearts and home. They knew it wouldn’t be easy, but every second with her was worth it.

“It was a challenge for sure, but a rewarding one,” said Autumn.

Autumn always wanted to be a mother and when she found out she couldn’t have children of her own, she and her husband decided they wanted to foster. The couple went through G.A. Family Services in Buffalo where they say they received the help and guidance they needed to be successful foster parents. It was a five-year process, but Annabelle was officially adopted by the Bunnells on July 28, 2016.

“We feel so blessed to have her in our lives,” said Autumn.

While they still have a long road ahead getting through Annabelle’s health issues, they say the love they have for her conquers every obstacle they face. In turn, Annabelle is just as sweet.

“She’s loving, outgoing, smart, cute…and she has a big heart for a 5-year-old,” said Autumn.

To celebrate Annabelle’s successful adoption and five-year anniversary of being home with the Bunnells, Annabelle and her parents are giving back. They volunteered to help another little girl through G.A. Family Services this holiday. Annabelle recently went shopping and picked out clothes and toys that she thought the little girl would like.

“It was amazing the Christmas gifts and donations that were sent to Annabelle when we were fostering her. We wanted to do the same for someone else,” said Autumn.

For information about becoming a foster parent, visit www.gafamilyservices.org.

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