Caption for Adoptive Family: Kenia, Ian, and Tristan (left to right) are all members of an Idaho adoptive family: mother, son, and father. November is National Adoption Month. Many children are eager to be adopted, and for anyone who’s ever considered adopting a child, now is a great time. (Courtesy photo)
By Tina Kierce
We’ve all seen those adorable pictures on social media where kids or teenagers are holding up a sign that says something like, “I was in care 1,572 days, 23 different homes, and switched schools 6 times, and today I was adopted!” At first, we as viewers feel happy and may even think, “This is so incredible he/she now has a family.” The next moment, the viewer considers the magnitude of how long 1,572 days (4.3 years) actually is and tries to imagine the child switching homes 23 times and starting as the new kid at 6 different schools. It can be overwhelming to consider the child’s experience. Finally, we celebrate the adoption of each child as they finally have a permanent home in which to be loved, cherished, safe, and thriving. Many are still waiting to hold up their sign.
November is National Adoption Month and is dedicated to bringing awareness to the need for families to adopt older children, teenagers, and sibling groups from our nation’s foster care system. These children are placed in care at no fault of their own. Over 400,000 children are placed in foster care each year. It is intended to be temporary placement, but 125,000 of those children will not be reunited with their biological families and will wait to be adopted. It can take months or years. At age 18, foster kids age out of the system. Aging out of the system means they no longer receive services and enter their young adulthood without stability or a family to call their own.
Idaho families are desperately needed to adopt older children, teenagers and sibling groups. Children are waiting right now. These children have experienced trauma and/or abuse but remain resilient, beautiful, incredibly amazing. They want to be loved unconditionally, accepted, and be part of a permanent family.
“We don’t want to saved, we just want to be with our siblings, loved and have a family again.” — Maddi, adoptee
“I remember when we first went into care. There were five of us and we were split into different homes. Health & Welfare couldn’t find one foster home for four boys and a girl. All I thought about was when I could see my brothers again.” — Richard, adoptee
The oldest of the five had immediately assumed the role as parent so his concern for his siblings was constant. This is very common for sibling groups. The oldest becomes the protector, the parent and grows up a little faster. They also learn quickly how the system works. Sometimes splitting sibling groups makes it easier to find homes for the children. The brothers were posed with the decision to allow their baby sister to be adopted without them. They gave her the opportunity to be adopted without them. She was adopted by a family and her brothers haven’t seen or heard from her since. After a couple of years in care, the boys were adopted together.
National Adoption Month’s theme for 2021 is “Every conversation matters.” Take a moment and talk about adoption with friends, family, classmates, adoptive parents, adoptees, or women who have chosen adoption plans for their babies. If you are an adoptive parent, start the conversion by inviting your child to share the memories they have of being in their biological homes (there are often very good memories) or how they envision their relationship with their new family. Provide a safe place for the adopted child to honor their life journey. If you have ever considered adoption as a way to grow your family, talk with your significant other or support system. The time is now.
The legal adoption of foster children in the United States is handled through licensed private agencies who specialize in foster-adoption and individual states’ Health & Welfare departments. Families complete a home study evaluation to become approved adoptive parents and then begin searching for adoptable children through statewide and regional databases. Adoption can be overwhelming. Research and learn about the programs that will work best for you.
A New Beginning is an Idaho-based non-profit adoption agency that provides a foster-adopt program. Parents are not required to foster first; instead, A New Beginning is working with Health & Welfare departments across the nation to find homes for the kids who are ready for permanent placement. A New Beginning has been involved in the placement of over 100 children from foster care with a high rate of permanency. For more information about adoption, visit www.adoptanewbeginning.org or Idaho’s Department of Health & Welfare.
Upcoming information seminars, both free and virtual, include:
• November 2 at 6:30 p.m. – Infant Adoption Information Seminar hosted by A New Beginning Adoption Agency, RSVP at https://adoptanewbeginning.org/about/seminars/
• November 18 at 6 p.m. – Foster-Adoption Information Seminar with guest foster-adopt families, hosted by A New Beginning Adoption Agency, RSVP at https://adoptanewbeginning.org/about/seminars/
• Idaho Wednesday’s Child – Go to https://www.idahowednesdayschild.org/
• December 7 at 6:30 p.m. – Infant Adoption Information Seminar hosted by A New Beginning Adoption Agency, RSVP at https://adoptanewbeginning.org/about/seminars/
• December 9 at 6 p.m. – Foster-Adoption Information Seminar hosted by A New Beginning Adoption Agency, RSVP at https://adoptanewbeginning.org/about/seminars/
Every child deserves a home, and 122,000 U.S. children are waiting to be adopted.
Tina Kierce is in charge of communication and marketing for A New Beginning. She may be reached at email@example.com.