fostering

‘Are you her nanny?’ ‘Did you kidnap her?’ I had a mom call me her Au Pair at gymnastics. We get stared down.’: Single black mom adopts 2 white siblings, is constantly judged by strangers but urges, ‘Love goes beyond skin color’

“When I tell them I’m her mom, they reply with, ‘Ohhhh. She must look like her dad then.’ In line at stores, I get stared down. I say out loud to Elizabeth, ‘Mommy loves you!’ And she replies, ‘I love you mommy.’ That makes the people so confused. You can see their brain cells burning with confusion. Whenever she misbehaves in public, people stare so hard to see how the ‘nanny’ is going to handle it. Sometimes I say, ‘You can stop looking. I’m her mother.’ Then, I was notified she had a brother. I thought my family was complete, but I was wrong.”

‘On her 10th birthday, her belongings were jammed into trash bags, already waiting for her. She was yanked from her entire life, and thrust into a new one.’: Social worker candidly shares reality of foster care system

“We do not mean to devalue our kids. But we do it. Every single day. There are too many kids, too many broken families. But the thing is: it matters how you move them. It matters if it happens on their birthday, or if you forget a favorite stuffed animal in the shuffle. That nobody in their new home knows how they like their eggs, and there are no pictures on the walls but biological family. These things send a clear message: You’re invisible. You don’t matter. You’re a throwaway kid, now.”

‘Why didn’t you adopt your own kind?’ They’re African-American, I’m Italian, my husband is Filipino. My love for them is like no other.’: Couple adopt 5 children from foster care, ‘I wouldn’t have it any other way!’

“Something traumatic happened to one of the girls. The unwanted drama and heartache began. The social worker took us for a wild ride. She gave us an ultimatum. ‘If you don’t take the youngest sister back, I will take all 3 girls and place them in another home.’ I knew in my heart I couldn’t handle 6 children! One minute they needed to be adopted, and the next they were going home with their biological family.”

‘Is he a drug baby?’ I heard the whispers. ‘You’re making a huge mistake.’: Southern woman adopts African American child in ‘little town known for racial divides,’ aims to break stigmas, ‘I want my children to be inclusive, kind’

“On a holiday weekend, we received a call. ‘A baby boy is in the hospital and needs a home.’ I was scared to say yes. Just 3 hours later, a car pulled in our driveway with a 6-pound, 3-day old, baby boy. Time stood still. She handed him to me with two Walmart bags of random items, some paperwork and wished us well. We had no idea what the future would hold. Everything about this decision looked crazy to most people – even us.”

‘No Jessica, YOU are his mom. I only carried him.’ I became a mom in a courtroom.’: Woman ‘forever grateful’ for bio mom who made her a mother, ‘My son didn’t to my heartbeat from inside my womb, but he’s laid on my chest every day since 3 days old’

“Walking in the courtroom, there were 12 other families waiting with the same excitement. Some with matching shirts, letterboards, signs, all to commemorate their special day. The judge, dressed as Woody from Toy Story, walks in to officially kick off the festivities. ‘You understand this is a permanent proceeding. He would be yours as if he were born to you?,’ he asked. I couldn’t hold back the tears any longer.”

‘We have a sibling set of 3.’ Our lives were about to change. ‘THREE???’ Jared’s voice reassured me. ‘Let’s do it!’: Couple take in 3 siblings from foster care, ‘we were instantly in love’

“Three hours later, we became legal guardians for 2 adorable little toddlers. The first month, I felt like a horrible parent. ‘How did we end up here?’ Everything changed when news broke that our 2 littles were going to be placed with another family willing to take in all 3. My heart broke as the reality of foster care hit. I remember looking at Jared and saying, ‘I’m not ready to lose them.’ 0 to 4 kids in a year and a half? Why not??? We needed to take them all!”

‘I’m sorry I was so difficult.’ I grabbed his hand. ‘It wasn’t your fault.’ He hung his head. ‘Yes ma’am.’: Adopted son apologies for his trauma-fueled behavior, ‘He doesn’t see how brave he is’

“He found his old journal. ‘I threw it away. It made me sad to see who I was when I came to you.’ Both our eyes filled with tears. ‘It wasn’t your fault. You didn’t know how to trust me.’ He slayed my heart, thanking me for dinner on a random Tuesday night. ‘I’m just so thankful I will have a meal each night,’ he said. I couldn’t even lift my head to look him in the eyes. He became worried he’d said something wrong.”

‘I used meth right before I went into labor. The first time I saw my son was the last day I chose drugs.’: Mom overcomes addiction, regains custody of all her children with help from foster mom who ‘never gave up’ on her

“I was 25, divorced, and living in a cycle of brokenness and addiction. I had 3 other kids and didn’t have custody of any of them. My boyfriend wanted me to have an abortion, but when I chose life, he left. My children’s foster mom saw my hurting heart when all the odds were stacked against me, and fought alongside me. She never gave up on me.”

‘We understand it was accident. Are you okay?’ She shook her head up and down, and squeezed me.’: Woman who grew up in foster care unexpectedly triggered by little girl, ‘I started praying’

“They were paying with a curtain. It started off by playing hide and seek. And exactly what you guessed would happen, happened. The curtains and the rods came crashing down. Sweet-Gal looked down, shoved her face into her hands and slouched down. She peeked through her fingers, and I opened my arms. She slowly walked towards me. I turned my face and started tearing up.”

‘I was an ‘accident.’ My birth mom ‘tried to get rid of me,’ but couldn’t. She didn’t even want to name me.’: Orphan named by stranger in hospital room finally adopted at 26, ‘I longed to belong’

“To this day, I’m still not sure which random stranger named me in that hospital room. I was sent to a hospital for a full screening. They documented all the marks on my body with hours of questioning. I trembled in fear. In a dark hallway, a nurse – who took her job because her husband was also a survivor of child abuse – spoke these words to me. I can still hear her strong yet gentle voice. ‘Annie, the cycle ends with you.’ I finally know now, my parents aren’t going anywhere.”

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