Foster Family Adopts 3 Brothers After Police Found Their House “Filthy”

The first time that Vacaville police officers came into contact with the three young boys, it was because their mother had called in to say she couldn’t find one of them. 

Rookie officer Isaac Stevens felt that more was going on, though, and so he decided to visit the woman and her sons and do a welfare check. The instant he stepped into the apartment, he realized he had made the right decision.

“I was shocked that kids were living in conditions like this,” says Stevens, who describes the apartment as ‘filthy.’ The boys were only 2, 4, and 8 when Stevens visited them. And they were alone.

Finding a Foster Family

The next step was to contact Child Welfare and try to find a foster family. Stevens knew he had to do it, but he also knew that it wasn’t a magic pill that would make all the boys’ problems go away. Like most places across the country, Solano County had a shortage of foster families. Would they be able to place the boys? Would the brothers be split apart?

As fate would have it, one foster family on the list was a distant relation of the boys’ biological mother. James and Mae Lancaster said they would take the boys — all three of them.

“We were 100% all in, right from the time we heard they needed a home,” says James Lancaster. He and his wife Mae received the call in the middle of the night. They immediately made their way to the police station and were waiting outside on the steps when Stevens arrived with the boys.

Keeping the Boys Together

Both James and Mae know firsthand the importance of a strong family bond and insisted on keeping the brothers together. James grew up in a disadvantaged, inner city neighborhood of San Francisco. His mom was a single parent, and James watched her struggle. “I felt a duty to these three kids,” he says. The Lancasters decided to become foster parents.

Mae and James would not be new parents, though. They had lost a son more than a decade earlier. But now, new life was suddenly breathed back into their family.

“They’ve given me…my life back,” says Mae. “It’s very rewarding, watching them grow, play sports and do good in school.”

James echoes Mae’s sentiments and encourages others to consider becoming foster families. He’s proud to point out how far the boys have come since they found a stable, loving home with the Lancasters. He says the boys’ confidence has skyrocketed and that they’re happy.

“At the end, we’re trying to raise good citizens, good people,” he emphasizes.

Guest of Honor

That’s why, after fostering the boys for a time, the Lancasters were thrilled to officially adopt them. And who was at the top of the guest list for the ceremony? Officer Stevens, the very person whose gut instinct had led the boys to their new home, where they would thrive.

The three brothers may have had a rocky start in life, but now they can relax and just be kids. The Lancasters say that their priority is spending time together as a family, and to that end, their plans include a trip to Disney — the happiest place on earth.

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