Throughout the month of November, we have been celebrating National Adoption Month by sharing real stories of those who have experienced adoption as well as kids waiting for their adoption story to begin. There are over 2,000 kids in Arizona’s foster care system that are adoptable, yet sit waiting for a family that they can connect with, share their future with, and depend on in the moments that really matter. They are looking for a family that loves with a persistent and fearless love. They are in need of a family that will see them for who they are instead of the trauma they have gone through; one that will advocate for them through the process of healing and stop to understand who they desire to become. Kids that are in foster are are not looking for perfection. They are looking for a commitment to learning and growing on the journey together.
One of the things I have learned through my own journey in fostering and adopting is that this is not about stepping in as a savior or a knight in shining armor. It is also not about being a super parent. I have yet to meet a foster parent that believes they are amazing. Each parent I connect with is real about their struggles and their failures, but they are also real about hope, moments of breakthrough, and this deep love that they have for their child. I have experienced an incredible openness throughout this community in supporting one another because there is power in connecting with others that understand your story.
There is no quick or easy answer to dealing with trauma or loss. It would be misleading for me to tell you fostering or adopting will be an easy road. The truth is, there is nothing easy about it. But, the one thing I can tell you with my entire being is that it is worth the hard. Being a foster mom and then an adoptive mom has forever changed the way I see so many things in this world. It has changed the way I view birth parents. It has shaped the way I define love. It has given me a passion to create change for those affected by foster care because I now have eyes that see the world through new lenses; new lenses that are a gift given to me by my children that came to me through fostering.
If you have thought about the possibility of becoming a foster or adoptive parent, I encourage you to take a step. That step may mean you volunteer. It may mean you come and hang out with kids on January 13th at Jake’s Unlimited (Sign up link https://www.signupgenius.com/go/4090849a8af2fa3ff2-oneticket1). It may mean that you jump into becoming a mentor, CASA, or take another regular volunteer opportunity to spend time in the foster community (https://fosterarizona.org/volunteer-opportunities/). It may even mean that you are ready to take steps to become a foster /adoptive parent yourself (https://fosterarizona.org/foster-adopt/). There isn’t a wrong way to get involved. Never underestimate the positive impact that can be made in a child’s life because a community chooses to engage with this issue instead of looking away.
Click here to view the rest of the Meet the Kids videos!
Foster Arizona & Foster Arizona Housing Project