Teen Adoption from a Mother’s Perspective

It always feels uncomfortable to me when I hear someone (typically workers) ask a child if they’re “excited” about getting adopted.  My 16 year old lived with his mom until he was 15. While she may have lead an undesirable lifestyle, she still provided for him and was there. It was never a dream of his for DCS (Department of Child Safety) to swoop in and adopt him out.

My 15 year old went into foster care at age nine, then briefly back with bio mom a year later….only to be removed again. He loved his mom very much and blamed CPS (Child Protective Services, now DCS) for taking him away. Still in the back of his mind he knows that she put drugs and men before him. While he walked out of the room happy after our “adoption” talk, with a big ole grin on his face saying, “I’M GETTING ADOPTED”…he still wrestled with conflicting feelings months leading up to the adoption. On adoption day he thanked me for letting him be part of the family. He was relieved that we really did it, and he’d no longer be bounced around.

Yes, they are thankful, yes they are grateful, yes they are relieved, but doing back-flips and dancing on the ceiling they are not. Adoption for older kids means an “official” end to an old chapter that they still hold dear in some ways. So if a worker reads this or someone just not in the know…Maybe asking if they feel good about it is better than asking if they are excited and waiting to see if they are going to jump up and down.

Kellie Cardoza

Adoptive, Bio, and Foster mom

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