In 2005, Jordan and Kelly Brinton adopted three children from foster care: Jinny, James, and Ron. The couple also have two other children, Steve, 8, and Heidi, 9, adopted at birth. Despite careful preparation, and being experienced foster parents, the couple were soon devastated by the behaviours of their severely traumatized children. Each child exhibited different symptoms of trauma, abuse, and neglect; but it was their oldest son who proved the biggest challenge. Here, Kelly shares her story.
When Tracy and Scott Hill adopted two older children, realizing that it’s not always easy for kids to make the adjustment to a new family, they decided to let the girls take the lead in what they should call their new parents. It took a while, but eventually those magical words “Mom” and “Dad”—that so many parents take for granted—started to come naturally. Here’s their story.
Five years ago Sophie Perkins* was an empty nester in her fifites with a busy career. She had no idea that she was soon to become a full-time mother again.
Though Sophie knew that her daughter-in-law and son weren’t parenting their children adequately, as she lived some distance from the family, she didn’t have a full grasp of the situation. Her son and daughter-in-law made great efforts to appear as though they lived relatively "normal" lives.
“On the sidewalk that leads to the grade school near us, his name is in that cement. We see it every day. It’s nice. It makes me feel good to see it, but the other side is that the feeling of loss resurfaces.”
Our adoption story started in the fall of 1984 when I experienced a near fatal health emergency as a result of a genetic illness. My wife and I decided not to have biological children, as there was a strong possibility that my illness would be passed onto our children. We were aware of adoption, but never considered it seriously — we’d heard that it could take years and years.
Aleisha and Garry Jenkins adopted their first child, Sadie, as a newborn from the US. Two years later, they approached the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD), hoping to adopt two older children. They were surprised when the MCFD proposed a sibling group of two: Elliot, a little boy of 18 months, and his sister, Maya, three years old. Though they didn’t expect such young children, the couple pursued the adoption.
Around the time of his third birthday, my son John started urging me to adopt a baby. He launched a relentless, unequivocal campaign. He has always been a determined individual, and he had made up his mind. He was going to have a sibling.
The Decision to Adopt
Kathy and Rick Miller already had four birth children between the ages of nine and 16, when they decided to add a sibling group of two to their family. "We enjoy children a lot," said Kathy, who has a degree in Child and Youth Care. "We have lots of parenting experience, and we felt we had a lot to offer as a family." She and Rick, who is a teacher, wanted more children, but felt that it was better "to expand our family by adding children who genuinely needed a home, rather than biologically."