Tiffany Seitz, 2019 Miss Pennsylvania, now 23, is competing in the famous Miss America pageant but when she was addicted to cocaine at birth, her doctors gave her only two weeks to survive. Obviously children born in such conditions would traditionally be in the NICU getting treatment but sadly that did not happen for her. She waited alone in the streets, while her mother was out trying to make some money by selling her body. It is a terrible situation but this was the reality she was living through.
Thankfully, she underwent a sea-change with the intervention by a foster care organization and a caring family living in Freeport, Pennsylvania, who sheltered Tiffany when only a few months old and adopting her after two more years.
SAVING POTENTIAL LIVES
The upbeat Seitz shares her heart-warming story, to focus attention about how foster care and adoption working in tandem, can save lives while competing at the Miss America competition at Uncasville, Connecticut’s Mohegan Sun Casino & Resort. She is grateful that her parents gave her so much love, and opportunities she wouldn’t have had had, but for the gift of adoption. She hopes her story inspires other people to consider adopting children. Just after her birth in August 1995 at Pittsburgh, health providers were doubtful of Seitz living beyond two weeks, and felt she would not see her first birthday as she was very sick.
After Tiffany was entrusted to foster care, they contacted the Seitz family to help, as they had successfully fostered 3 boys in high school. They were asked to take in this little girl in for the weekend as she was cocaine positive and not expected to live long. The agency desperately needed to place her somewhere as her home situation was awful. Weekends quickly turned into full-time foster care. Then, in the spring of 1998, the Seitz family officially adopted Tiffany after a court hearing involving her biological family, who had also decided to adopt Tiffany. The presiding judge permitted her foster parents to become her adoptive parents as per Len Seitz.
Meanwhile, Lori, her mother, left her job as a nurse to devote herself to Tiffany’s care, and then home-schooled her until the sixth grade. The expected mental and physical disabilities never developed due to God’s hand in her life and the destiny charted for her. Hard work and luck brought her to what she could become today. In 2017, Tiffany who is an accomplished dancer, graduated with a degree in entrepreneurship from Grove City College. She lives in her Freeport home with Lori, Len and a foster sibling with autism and also teaches dance between her duties as Miss Pennsylvania. Seitz points out the fact that while Seitz and another foster brother are black, her parents and her two foster brothers (one having died form cancer when he was in his 20s) are white. The colour of your skin is immaterial as love is irrespective of colour and knows no boundaries. Tiffany has not seen her biological parents shortly after birth. It’s a very surreal experience to think about where she comes from. Regardless of what the Miss America results are, the fact that she has reached this far with how she began, is an accomplishment and she is really happy to be here.
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