The first four paragraphs of the story:
Each time Elisia Manuel sees her daughter Precious rehearsing
traditional basket dancing and humming tribal songs around their home in
Casa Grande, Arizona, she’s overwhelmed with emotion. “It’s beautiful
to witness,” the mother of three says. “She’s part of
This wasn’t always guaranteed. Elisia and her husband Tecumseh, who is a
member of the Gila River Indian Community, became foster parents in
2012 after learning about the great need for Native American foster
families in Arizona. They couldn’t have biological
children of their own and felt a deep calling to help other families,
Within two years, the couple had taken in two foster children and
adopted three more. Their two adopted sons are biological brothers, and
each came to the Manuels when they were just days old.
Their daughter, Precious, also needed to leave her home as a baby but
was going to be placed with a non-Native family at first. “She wouldn’t
have received any education about her culture,” Elisia says. She knows
what that would be like. Elisia’s family is
Hispanic and has Apache roots, but, her grandmother was adopted and
raised away from her biological family, so Elisia did not grow up
learning about Apache culture and is not an enrolled tribal member.
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