Motherhood: the days are long, but the years are short. Especially true when they don’t enter your life until they’re 8 or 15! Adopting from foster care is hard AF, but worth it.
The years have flown by so quickly. They are both 20 now and trying to figure out their own paths. I’m still adjusting to the usually empty nest – and not always well.
We’ve been through dark, complicated, challenging, painful times. But there’s also been so much laughter, joy, love, success, growth, and celebration! I’m honored they chose me to be their mom and I’d choose them again and again and again.
Here’s what you should know about older child adoption.
- There are tens of thousands of kids and teens waiting for stable, healthy, loving families. The statistics for kids who age out of foster care are bleak. You can change someone’s life.
- Adopting from foster care is free! In most cases there’s even a stipend to help with the expenses of adding a child to your family. Free healthcare and college tuition are also often available.
- Trauma is a bitch. Children are in foster care or available for adoption because significant trauma has happened to them. Even newborns. Adoption is trauma. Period. Research the effects of trauma extensively and give serious consideration to if you’re willing and able to commit to the extreme challenges that often stem from trauma. (A couple of book recomendations are below.)
- Raising traumatized children is hard. So freaking hard. Hearing the things that have happened to them will shatter you. Navigating their emotional, mental, and behavioral hurdles will break you at times. Finding your own therapist is crucial.
- But it’s still so worth it. They are so worth it.
Find out more about adopting from foster care:
Books on trauma:
Dr. Bruce Perry has devoted his career to childhood trauma. He recently wrote a book with Oprah called What Happened to You. Read it. It will help you identify and understand your own trauma, too.
Ashley Rhodes Courter has written two books about bouncing around the foster care system for years before being adopted as a young teen. She’s now a social worker and parent herself. Check out Three Little Words and Three More Words.
Also, I literally just remembered I published an ebook on adopting from foster care way back in 2012. Actually, two of them! I think they’re free or really cheap.
Disclaimer: I have not read these in almost a decade and I’m cringing at the covers right now.
Sidenote: I was also commissioned to write a book on finding Mr. Right in 2012. Gross. Talk about cringe!
Can’t foster adopt? You can still help!
There are so many ways to help kids and teens in foster care without parenting. Google foster care in your county for agencies to contact. Options include:
- Donating time or money
- Mentoring, coaching, tutoring
- Collecting supplies
- Providing respite care
- Cooking, doing laundry, or running errands for foster families
- Sharing your talents
- And so much more
My girls have beaten some grisly statistics. They have grown into amazing warrior women. I’m so proud of them and so happy I’m their mom.
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