What it's Like Going from Foster Care System to Adoption

I grew up in a family with an adopted brother and an adopted sister.
My dad's wife lost a battle with breast cancer at a very young age and left two young children behind.
Years later, when my dad and mom got married, my mother adopted my siblings as her own.
An insta family.

{3 of the 5 of us}

My brother and sister were never treated any differently than my mother's biological children, so sometimes I forget that I have a connection with adoption.
About 15 years ago, I became a counselor at a crisis pregnancy center.
I was able to attend several training's on adoption and I even worked with several women who placed their children for adoption.  A very selfless gift.

Over the years I have met several families that have adopted their children through the foster care system. I have gotten to see how the system works and I have gotten to know their children in the process.
I have seen older children with hard edges soften up.
I have seen the kids struggle to accept that they have found their forever home,
 when all they know is change and temporary.
I have gotten to see these kids plan a future for themselves when in the past they didn't know what was going to happen to them the next day.

Did you know there are more than 100,000 children in the foster care system waiting to be adopted?
There are children waiting for a forever home.

For the past ten years I have had the privilege of knowing a family that adopted three girls through the foster adopt program.
Sydney, oldest daughter, has graduated High School, is perusing her degree and was willing to answer a few questions for me about her experience in the foster care system and how her life changed when she found her forever family.

What has been your experience with the foster to adopt program?
Sydney: their main intent is to find you a home that will be as close to perfect for you and for the family you are joining. So while it may take awhile, the end results are really good. 

How many foster homes were you a part of before you found your forever family?
Sydney: I was a part of countless homes while in the foster care
system. My sister and I were kept together so it was difficult for temporary families to accommodate us for very long.

What was it like when you were placed with the family that finally adopted you?
Sydney: At first, being placed in the family I am with now just felt
like any other - we assumed we'd be moving anytime. But once we heard that they would be adopting us, I was both scared and quite doubtful. However, once we started to see that we weren't ever moving again, a great deal of relief set in.
How is your life different now after having the experience with the foster/adopt program? 
Sydney:I had to adapt each time I moved. So now, I can accept change
and be thrown into almost any situation without batting an eye, simply because that was how it was growing up. It also made me look at the value of friendships differently because growing up I'd never know if I'd see the people I cared about again.

Why do you think foster care adoption is worth supporting? 
Sydney: I think foster care adoption is worth supporting because kids
really need it. So many children age out of the system with no one by their side and no where to go. Whether you support the system financially, volunteer as a big brother or big sister, or even become an adoptive parent yourself, you are helping those kids greatly.

Thank you so much Sydney! It has been an honor getting to see Syd grow up and mature into a beautiful young woman.

As a child that had been in the foster care system and found her adoptive family, Sydney gave some great advice.  Support the system because it's worth supporting! 

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