Thursday, June 30, 2016

Adopting an older child Part 2

One of our clients, "Mark”, graciously took the time to talk to us and tell us about his and his wife's journey of fostering and adopting older children.  Over the span of 30 years, this inspiring couple has adopted five older children.  I asked, "How did you get involved with becoming foster parents"? As newlyweds, Mark and his wife became aware of foster care children that attended their church. They came to know these children individually.  They saw that so many children are waiting in the foster care system to be adopted, so they decided that that was how they were going to grow their family.

Image result for teenagers and parentsMark expressed that it's hard when children have had several transitions throughout their childhood.  Going from home to home and family to family is traumatizing.  Ultimately, when fostering a child, you want to limit their transitions.  People may think it's more difficult to parent an older child, but the reality is that parenting, in general, is hard.  You have to be willing to learn, to not hold rigid expectations and to overall be open to helping your child adjust to his unique challenges.  Every child comes with a back story of how he got into foster care. He's been hurt, he is dealing with emotions, and he might not trust adults because of his past.

However, at the end of the day, assisting a child with these challenges can be very rewarding. Mark talked about how exciting it was to see the change in emotions and to watch the child grow and overcome his personal battles.  As he overcomes his struggles, he starts to thrive.  His individual skills and talents start to come out and the rest of the world gets to see how special he is.  He might have had a rough start but he now has healthy thriving relationships. Our client believes that, "Every child deserves to be cherished and to have a family that loves them".

Is this type of parenting something you would consider?  You can begin to explore foster care parenting through your local Department of Family Services.  Additionally, many private agencies have "waiting child" programs, where children who are in the foster care system are matched with pre-screened families.  You might attend an information session to learn more from either the local Department of Family Services or the private adoption agency.  Some of my biggest heroes in the adoption community are the foster care parents that I have assisted.  There are people like Mark and his family who love children and are willing to invest in their lives.

Drafted by Brittany Alness, staff member of the Law Offices of Karen S. Law, PLC.
This blog and the information contained within have been prepared by Law Offices of Karen S. Law, PLC for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. This information is not intended to create, nor does receipt of it constitute an attorney-client relationship. Viewers should not act upon information found here without seeking legal counsel. All photographs shown on this blog are depictions of clients and are not actual clients of this law firm. Copyright Karen S. Law, 2016

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