Our Story ~ How Brandon's Library for Little Ones Came to Be
Brandon's Libraries for Little Ones is a labor of love that unfolded from the adoption experience of the Sonnenbergs, a family from northern Idaho.
The story began years ago when a sweet and innocent young boy named Brandon was placed into foster care in the state of Texas. Despite his loving personality and all of his charming qualities, finding a forever home for Brandon proved to be surprisingly elusive. As he grew older, year after year passed with no family in sight to call his own. Finally approaching 18 years old, Brandon's dream of being adopted before aging out of the system had begun to fade.
Meanwhile, thousands of miles away in northern Idaho, Fred and Aleta Sonnenberg were considering turning their dream of adoption into reality. When they wed in 1968 they decided to have two biological children and then adopt. In 1976 their firstborn, Lathen, arrived. Seven years later in 1983 their daughter, Tiamae, was born. Years passed and their children grew. Though the dream of adoption had never left their hearts, the timing just didn't seem right.
Finally, in April of 2007, the time had come to start searching for the final family member who had been missing for so long. Now in their mid-sixties, Fred and Aleta found themselves in an unusual situation. At this season in life, most people their age were looking at retirement rather than adoption. Their two biological children were grown and had been out on their own for years. Adoption seemed a strange path for the couple at this point in life, but they knew the time was right.
The Sonnenbergs originally wanted to adopt locally from their own community in Idaho, but after months and months of searching and waiting to no avail, it became evident that they needed to broaden the scope of their search. Fred and Aleta then began looking across the United States for their son. As soon as they began to consider interstate adoption, it wasn't long before Brandon appeared, and they knew he was the one.
In January of 2009, just days before turning 18, Brandon was adopted by the Sonnenbergs through the Idaho court system. Moving from the balmy metropolitan area of Houston to the northern reaches of rural Idaho was an enormous change for Brandon and required quite an adjustment. After graduating from high school, Brandon stayed with his adoptive family for two years.
Brandon’s love for Texas has always run deep, and he has recently moved back to his home state where his adoptive sister also resides. Even though finding work can be tough these days, Brandon has done a remarkable job of obtaining full-time employment and successfully integrating himself into his local community. The circumstances that necessitated his placement into foster care, along with his life-long search for a family of his own, certainly didn’t give Brandon the upper hand, but he has overcome against all odds. Brandon, we are so proud of you!
The need within the foster and adopt system is great, and the children are many. For every child that finally finds a family to call his or her own, many more continue to wait and hope against hope that their own family is just around the corner. Brandon is a living example of the strength, love and beauty that lies within every child yearning for love and acceptance and a place to always call home.
After witnessing Brandon's struggle throughout his entire childhood to negotiate the foster care system and find his forever home, the Sonnenberg family's labor of love came into focus and began to bloom. In an effort to commemorate Brandon and his heroic journey, Fred and Aleta founded Brandon's Libraries for Little Ones in their son's honor, aiming to give back to children who are still stranded in the system waiting for a place to belong.
To learn more about our current sponsorship drive, our generous community sponsors, how you can help, or what is included in each individual library gift package, please explore the following links: