Oct. 6, 2023

Maurissa’s Inspiring Journey to Being Adopted as an Adult


Meet Maurissa S, who shares her inspiring story of being adopted as an adult. Her childhood at home wasn't safe, but entering the foster system was a positive change. She bravely opens up about the traumatic experiences she faced as a young child. At 12, Maurissa entered foster care, and at 18, she aged out. However, there's more to her story. Discover how she found love and support from her maternal uncle and his wife during the holidays, which ultimately led to her being adopted at the age of 35. Her journey is a testament to resilience and the power of connection.

1. Please describe your experience in the foster care system.
My experience was different from many as I was removed due to emotional and physical abuse from my biological mother. She repeatedly denied that my biological father had been sexually abusing me and it led to me feeling suicidal and in and out of mental hospitals. After my 5th attempt the hospital staff wanted to send me home and I said I would end up back again the next day as my home wasn’t safe. Being removed was a blessing and gave me the opportunity to heal from my family trauma. I met amazing mentors who supported my mental health and changed my life. I named my oldest son after one.

2. What is something you wanted most when you were in foster care?
Loving parents who accepted me and supported me. I feel my biological parents were selfish people who had children for the wrong reasons.

3. In what ways can people support foster youth other than becoming foster parents?
Being positive role models, mentors, and safe adults whom they can trust provides them with needed guidance on areas of life i.e. job skills, relationships, identity, etc.

4. What do you wish the world knew about children in foster care?
That we aren’t broken. And that everything we do isn’t because we were in foster care. I feel so many times children are labeled badly when they do age-appropriate behaviors because they were in the system. I want to celebrate them being normal kids. We need to stop pathologizing them and help them heal.

5. What are some of your positive personal qualities or characteristics that you think are linked to your experiences?

I think who I am today is directly linked to me being able to be free from my biological parents and start my own healing and independent journey. I got really lucky with where I ended up (residential placement) and met some amazing people who changed my life more than they will ever know. By simply believing in me and keeping me safe. Without them I know I wouldn't be here today.

6. What would you tell your younger self when you were in foster care?
That your life would become more than you had ever dreamed and imagined for yourself. That you are deserving of being seen,valued, and heard. And that you are deserving of being loved.

7. When did your adoption journey begin?
My maternal uncle and his wife have been taking me home for visits on holidays once I was placed in foster care. When I aged out they helped me more and more each year. Until I was about 22 and moved in with them on and off for 8 years. It was then that I began to call them mom and dad. And as I had my own children, we had more and more conversations around making it official.

8. How has your life changed since starting this journey?
As of now the legality of it is setting in. But I’m hoping during my times of high trauma response it may support me in knowing that I am now in a different place with a different family and that I’m safe.

9. Is there anything else you would like to share about your adoption experience?
It has been a very easy experience for me. And something that at 39.5 years old has been just a great deal of pride and joy to finally have it happen. I wrote the following poem “June 2nd, 2023. Will forever be my Gotcha Day (Adoption Fay) as someone who has helped so many families be made through adoption. I am forever grateful that I can now also feel so complete with my forever parents. I wrote this poem to commemorate my life experience. “
“To the little me that I didn’t get to be.
To the little me that didn’t get to feel seen.
To the little me that felt she deserved to be abused.
To the little me that felt she was destined to be underused.
To the little me that was raised to believe everything was her fault.
To the little me that felt it was never going to stop.
To the little me who felt I was better off dead.
To the little me who was told she would never get ahead.
To the little me who didn’t get hugs or kisses.
To the little me who found out the hard way that physical touch by a parent can be dangerous.
To the little me who never heard an I love you.
Unless it was meant to show that it was in fact all about you.
To the little me who was scared every night.
Wondering when my bed wasn’t going to feel right.
To the little me who screamed at the top of lungs.
To the little me you silenced just so you didn’t feel wrong.
To the little me who craved the safety of adults.
To the little me who never expected it would happen when I needed it the most.
To the me , who is 39.5 years old.
To the me who survived more than any kid should.
To the me who can look back on this day.
To the me who knows now what she can say.
To the me who now has her voice.
To me who can now make any choice.
To the me who is grateful for all the traumas that I encountered.
To the me who is doing her damndest to break these patterns.
Today I can say that after 14,431 days I have finally been adopted by my forever parents.
To the me who has waited for this day for all of my life.
As being with those people just never felt quite right.
To the me who is using all of her pain.
To raise children who will never feel the same.
To the me who after today can begin to heal in a whole new way.
To the me who is forever grateful to have my aunt and uncle as my parents legally to take after.
To the me who knows that I am deserving of my happiness ever after. With parents who will love me for forever. “

This is a powerful story of resilience in the face of adversity; Maurissa S’ story shows us how it’s possible to overcome any obstacle and find happiness. Her experience in the foster system was unique, as she faced emotional and physical abuse before being removed from her home for her own safety. She wanted something that many in foster care dream of: loving parents who accepted and supported her. It wasn’t until she was 35 that this became a reality, and now years later she looks back on her journey with strength and hope. There are many benefits to Adult Adoption. Learn More Here

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