How Does Foster to Adopt Work: Taylor’s Story
How does foster to adopt work? Today Taylor shares her foster to adopt story with us.
In the Beginning
Taylor and her family began to foster in August of 2016. “We became foster parents because we saw a huge need in our community. Our state had 10% of America’s foster youth who needed foster and adoptive homes. I was teaching special education at the time and a third of my students were in the foster care system. At the time, we had no children of our own so we were excited at the thought of possibly adopting from foster care if that is what ended up happening. We went into the whole process full of hope, and full of love, but nothing could have prepared us for the brokenness, for the pain, and for the absolute heartbreak that comes from a life in foster care,” shared Taylor.
Taylor’s children share the adoption day of May 9th, 2019. Winnie spent 948 days in foster care and Max spent 840 days.
How Does Foster to Adopt Work But Like Really
How does foster to adopt work? Well for Taylor’s family, they always treated Winnie and Max as their children, even before the judge approved their adoption. The time frame and waiting did not damper their love.
“Adoption day was a very special day for our children. Winnie knew what was happening and she spent weeks counting down the days. To our family their adoption day didn’t change anything that we didn’t already know in our hearts. We knew 7 months ago what the judge had decided. Sadly, it takes the court systems a long time to schedule court dates. Ever since the first day each of our children were placed with us. We had been a family already. Our family has been forged through many difficult seasons. Winnie is 3 and Max is 2, the things they have seen and been through are more than many could imagine. We have walked much of their journeys’ hand-in-hand with them. To us, adoption day just made all of our love legal.”
What is the Best Experience You’ve had Through the Adoption Process?
When thinking of the question, how does foster to adopt work? People on the outside of the foster to adoption process often focus on the negative, the time, the energy. We asked Taylor to share her favorite experience and she said the following.
“Honestly, the best experience we have had through this process is getting to watch the relationships between them as siblings. When we first started out as foster parents we said no to sibling sets. The day Winnie came changed all of that because we knew her biological mother was pregnant with Max. Then 21 months later their biological mother had twins and before you knew it we had 4 little children! Watching them learn love, bravery, compassion, togetherness, and grace from each other has been such an honor. I am sure people think we are absolutely crazy for taking on so many siblings but to us, that has been the best part.”
How has Your Life Changed Since You Started this Journey?
When posed with the question, how has your life changed since you started this journey? Taylor responded, “Absolutely everything about our life has changed!”
Taylor reflected on her first fosters, “The children who first made us parents were biracial. Loving them and having them as our very first children really opened our eyes to our ignorance. The comments we would get just walking around Target blew us away. Those babies were ours when they were with us in every sense of the word, what they looked like had nothing to do with our love for them as our children. It was very difficult for us in those first few weeks to truly see how awful people can be. That experience with our first two foster children made us see how much families need people in their corner standing beside them and advocating for them. When they reunified with their families it was the hardest and best thing we have ever done.”
She continued, “Another thing that has changed our lives since being a foster family has been our perspective. We have been humbled more times than I wish to count on this journey. We see our lives, our communities, the way we look at raising a family differently than we did before our lives as foster/adoptive parents. When you see people at their absolute worst, when you see families broken apart, you can’t help but see everything around you in a different light. We can see something we were blind to before and now we can’t stop doing everything we can to help.”
Sage Advice for Those on the Foster to Adopt Path
To wrap up our chat Taylor shares some great insight. “Leave what you thought you wanted or what you dreamed adopting would be like in a box somewhere in your heart. Only keep it around to look in it from time to time, to remind yourself that what you wanted was so limited, because what was in store for you as a parent and as a family was more than you could have ever imagined. I look back on what I thought adoption would look like for our family and can’t help but laugh. I had no clue what we had signed up for. We thought we were going to change the world. Little did we know that 6 little children would come into our home and change our world forever. Foster care and adoption is a beautiful and broken picture of what true love can be.”
Thank you to Taylor for sharing her family’s story. It is so important to share these stories because foster to adoption is a great way to grow your family. To answer the question, how does foster to adopt work? It varies per family but does take time, patience, hope, and love.
If you are in the process of fostering to adopt Foster Love - Together We Rise offers free adoption day photography. Check out our Framing Forever program for more information. https://www.togetherwerise.org/framing-forever/