Expanding Our Family through Foster Care Adoption

Expanding Our Family through Foster Care Adoption

My husband and I already had one biological son when we thought about expanding our family. The subject of having a second child kept coming up every year since our son was still a toddler, but it seemed like either the time or the circumstances weren’t ever right.

Then, when our son was about 8 years old we had a serious discussion on whether or not we’ll make a decision about a second child. My husband was the first one who cautiously brought up an adoption as an alternative to having another biological child. He was surprised when I was excited about the idea. Why didn’t I think of it myself? After all, there are so many children who are waiting for forever families.

Making a decision to adopt versus having another child biologically was a big decision for us, but it felt like it was the right thing to do for many reasons.

Once the decision to adopt was made, we moved quickly to explore our resources and next steps. We attended an initial orientation at a local DHS office and learned there were many children in foster care who are waiting for forever families. Most of those children are older children. As we heard more about what these children have gone through we were convinced that adopting from foster care was the way to go.

One of the initial requirements was to attend a free adoption fundamentals training, which could be taken through the local DHS office or through Boys & Girls Aid. We attended the one through Boys & Girls Aid due to the schedule preference. We later decided to go through Boys and Girls Aid for our adoption process, and we were so glad we did. Our adoption clinician Cheri was always there for us with helpful information, encouraging words, and all kinds of support. We were very lucky to be matched to our daughter Ali quickly.

The DHS case manager had shared a photo book about our family with our Ali so that she could see where we live and what we like to do. Later the case manager scheduled a video meeting so we could see each other online and chat. In a few days we made a trip down I-5 and had a series of meetings there.

I especially enjoyed spending a day in our daughter’s school. It was a small rural school and she had already proudly shown our photo book to all of the teachers and her whole class. By the time we arrived to spend time with her at school, almost everyone knew who we were. Kids and adults would come to us and say “You are Ali’s new mom and dad!” We were celebrities that day.

The transition of moving her to our home permanently happened intentionally and slowly. We had several outings together and then started having her spend weekends with us. She was more than ready when the final day came to live with us forever. When we brought Ali to our church we were welcomed with “Welcome Ali” sign and were all showered with cards, gifts, and kind words.

The finalization day came almost a year after Ali moved in with us. It was a tough year: lots of adjustments and changes for everyone, but we had such a nice support team. When we were notified by our attorney that the adoption paperwork was finalized and signed by the judge, we were jumping with excitement! We asked Ali how she wanted to celebrate, and she chose a dinner out for just our family. We later had a big celebration which included our friends, family and her classmates.

If I had to give advice to someone considering adopting from foster care, I would tell them to be open-minded and do lots of reading. There are tons of books about parenting adopted children and how trauma affects their brain.

Parenting children from foster care requires special skills. It’s important to have a team of professionals who have experience with special needs children and understand your family’s needs. Earning their trust takes time. Be patient not only with your child but also with yourself.

Boys and Girls Aid

Oregon Based
 7 Waiting Children  1 Adoption Program
 Call 503-222-9661 018 SW Boundary Ct. Oregon http://boysandgirlsaid.org/

We do not simply find families, we find the right families for children in need.

Boys & Girls Aid works to secure lifelong connections for every child in Oregon. Regardless of age or background, we believe children belong in families that are permanent and stable. While every child deserves a family, not every child has a family. Between the ages of 0 to 23, we have a focus on making sure every child has a lifelong adult connected to their future.

There are many children in foster care in Oregon that are waiting for their forever families. Adoption from foster care is an affordable option, and assistance may be available to help offset the cost. 

Our staff is there for you every step of the way. We begin our services with an orientation that allows you to become familiar with our agency and our program. You will have a trained member of our staff available to answer all of your questions.

Who are these children?

Children in our Foster Care Adoption program range in age from young children through teenagers and come from families of diverse backgrounds. What these children share is the need for a permanent home with a caring family like yours.

Boys & Girls Aid serves children waiting in foster care throughout the state of Oregon. These children are in the care of the state for any number of reasons. While it is always our first hope to see children reunited with their biological family, for these children, returning to their families is not possible, or not a safe and stable option. As a result, they have been released to the state for adoption.

Many of the children in our program are in foster care because of a history of abuse or neglect. These circumstances leave some children with cognitive, physical, or emotional challenges that require special care.

Who may adopt?

The children in our Foster Care Adoption program need understanding, stable adults to care for them. Boys & Girls Aid is proud to work with families of any race, ethnicity, religion, marital status or sexual orientation.

Boys & Girls Aid is a non-sectarian, non-profit organization who has been finding permanent homes for Oregon’s children since 1885. More than 17,000 adoptions have been completed since the agency was founded. Boys & Girls Aid is a founding member of the Child Welfare League of America and the Special Needs Adoption Coalition. As one of the few Oregon agencies accredited, we are held to a higher standard than others in our field. At Boys & Girls Aid, we are committed to finding families for children, not children for families. This means we always place the highest priority on what is in the child’s best interest.

Learn more about adopting a child from the Oregon Foster Care system now by visiting our website.

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