For years, I tried to avoid even considering adoption. The idea of being put with people I didn’t know anything about and hadn’t even seen before was a little scary. I’d mostly lived with my great-grandma my whole life. That felt like home to me, and I didn’t want to leave. Unfortunately, my grandma’s age and health problems were getting bad and she wasn’t able to continue taking care of me. I had nowhere to turn. Adoption became the best option for me. Deciding on adoption was very scary, and I felt like I was risking my future.
My first encounter with the idea of children in care who needed families was during a church service as a little girl.
The speaker shared unsettling statistics about kids who age out of care and end up incarcerated, homeless, or worse; kids who are separated from their siblings; and young adults who have no place to spend the holidays or summer vacation. I suppose it all resonated with me because I came from a family of five siblings, and I couldn’t imagine my life without them. At that church service I made up my mind that I wanted to adopt older kids one day.
Adoption adds complexity to the life of adopted teens, even those adopted as newborns.
All teens struggle with the question, "Who am I?" Finding the answer usually involves figuring out how they are similar to, and different from their parents--a task that can be particularly complicated for children who have both birth and adoptive parents. Unknown or missing information, or having a different ethnicity from parents, can make piecing an identity puzzle together especially difficult for adoptees.
Learning disabilities expert Dr Richard Lavoie knows the secrets of school. Here's a summary of some of his ideas.
Lavoie identifies four groups of kids at school:
Take this quiz, developed by Speak-Out Youth members April and Courtney, to see what kind of family is the right fit for you!
You’ve just come from a long day at school. What would you like to come home to?
a) Lots of brothers and sisters jumping off the walls and inviting you to play.
b) Your mom and dad waiting for you, ready to go on a bike ride.
c) Your mom, cooking dinner, ready to hear all about your day.
d) An after-school snack of homemade cookies while you do your homework with your siblings and wait for your dad to come home.
Interview with a youth service provider.
I'm a youth who was in foster care. I know what it's like to meet with social workers and have conversations about my future. I think that planning permanency and adoption is a good thing because it gives youth a sense of stability and belonging. Permanency is important because it sets the ground work for the youth's future; it sets up a permanent family life and also might help to make sure that positive outcomes are possible for the youth in the long run. Here are some suggestions I have for people who work with youth in care or adoptees!
I believe that permanency is very important.
When I was at my all time low
I just wanted to fly away like a blackbird.
I was creeping death,
I needed a Courtesy Call.
I knew that someday I'll be on the Stairway to
Soon I will find a person, they will say,
"Oh starlight, don't you cry. We're going to find
A place where we belong"
They will be my Saviour, I'll know that
Nothing else matters, and I'll be living in
So Open your eyes, and see that If
Everyone Cared, and they gave a
- They are unwanted
- They are sexually promiscuous
- They are too old to be adopted
- They do not know how to love and interact with others
- All foster parents treat their foster children unfairly
- Incapable of getting a job
- All kids in care have many counsellors in their lives
- They will all grow up to live on the streets
- They are all thieves/criminals
- They are all angry and dramatic
- They are very smart people, even if their grades don't show it all the time
- They are ve
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.”