I’ve certainly benefitted from the care of some very supportive foster parents over the years since my placement in goverment care at the age of 15. My need for care was determined by the presence of serious mental illness in the family. My beautiful and brilliant mother was a professor of linguistics at the University of Victoria when she experienced the onset of schizophrenia. It certainly doesn’t discriminate. All of the degrees, merits and accomplishments did not matter in the slow decline of her beautiful mind.
BC's Waiting Children
For one family, connecting their adoptive children with their Indigenous origins has been full of change and full of hope.
As adoptive parents who began our journey with our application to adopt almost 25 years ago, we’ve seen some changes along the way. One of those changes has been regarding the adoption of children of First Nations ancestry into non-First Nations homes.
Sarah Groothedde had been in foster care since she was an infant, bouncing from home to home and suffering abuse and neglect.
As a young teenager, she asked her social worker to find her a family. The worker told her she was too old for adoption, and that it would be “against the rules” and a waste of resources to try. “All I ever wanted was a home and a family,” says Groothedde. “But it wasn’t in the cards for me.”
When my kids struggle or act out, my antennae are always up for what might be below the surface of an issue. All parents do this, right? But wow, do adoptive parents ever have to bring their whole brain to it, using use their x-ray vision to see right down to the bone.
Here are two stories that illustrate the “below the surface” concept that amazes some of my friends who have little experience with adoption.
Like many couples, John Calhoun and Carly Bates found their way to adoption after experiencing infertility.
It wasn’t an out-of-left-field choice for them, though. Carly says she told John on their first date that she wanted to adopt. It just took them a few years to get there. They knew they wanted to experience what it was like to parent a newborn, so they chose to pursue local infant adoption through an agency. Just four months after completing the application process, they were chosen by the expectant parents of a baby boy.
I knock gently on my son’s door. No answer. I open the door, and peer in. I can just make out the sleeping body, huddled underneath a pile of blankets.
I go into the room, peel back the covers, and stroke my ﬁnger along his cheek. “10 more minutes,” he says.
“OK,” I say, turning to leave the room.
“No, in your bed.”
He gets out of his bed and, still half asleep, walks across the hall to my room. He crawls under my duvet and snuggles in.
Why teens think teen adoption is a great idea:
Parents who are willing to wait for personal gratification.
Attachment with teens can take longer and may look very different than attachment with younger children.
Someone with a great sense of humour, patience, tolerance, and adaptability.
Self explanatory if you know teens.
People who can see beyond the rebellious teen to the blossoming young adult that they are becoming.
Are you able to quietly nurture the child that is still crying out for love and attention?
Some 1,100 former wards of the Crown enter adulthood yearly. What can be done to improve their chances for success?
You’re 19, officially an adult. Happy birthday. Now get out of the house.
As parents, few of us would take such a brutal approach. Yet in our role as citizens that is exactly the style we adopt toward teenagers “in care” of the Crown -- for whom the government is, institutionally speaking, their legal “parent.”
I’ve certainly benefitted from the care of some very supportive foster parents over the years, since my placement in goverment care at the age of 15. My need for care was determined by the presence of serious mental illness in the family. My beautiful and brilliant mother was a professor of linguistics at the University of Victoria, when she experienced the onset of schizophrenia. It certainly doesn’t discriminate. All of the degrees, merits and accomplishments did not matter, in the slow decline of her beautiful mind.