July 11, 2021

Overcoming the Obstacles of Fostering to Adopt


Deborah and her partner knew they wanted to adopt. They were planning to adopt, but they knew “nothing was final until it’s finalized.” They became certified in April 2018, and though they said yes to multiple children prior to having a placement, they didn’t get a match until February 2019. Their girls were officially placed with them on March 18, 2019.

They came with their blue sweet cases and our baby girl still sleeps with her TWR teddy bear.

Their adoption date was September 18, 2020. Here is Deborah’s story about how her family overcame obstacles when fostering to adopt.

Their Adoption Experience

The birth parents’ rights were terminated a week before they were placed with Deborah and her family, but there were appeals that went to the appellate through the court system that took almost an entire year.

After their difficulties with the court system, COVID-19 hit and slowed the process even more.

The girls placed in their family were in the foster care system for over three years, and they prayed that they had found their forever family with them.

For the 18 months we waited to finalize, we had our share of ups and downs. Getting to know each other and adjusting to each other was hard. I think all of us went through the grief cycle at different times, but at about 9 months in it felt easier, more predictable and our connection was feeling more and more secure.

While the stay-at-home order for COVID-19 was difficult, the family benefited from the bond they created by staying at home and spending time together.

The girls showed great progress throughout the pandemic. They had social worker visits, therapy, and doctor’s appointments over zoom and were able to self-regulate and show security that they hadn’t seen before.

They have a great support system in their family and their community which helped them throughout the whole process.

Growing Together

(The girls) have matured so much emotionally and then physically they started to shoot up too. It’s like as their hearts felt safe and secure, their bodies responded as well. Our little one was very delayed when she came to us in multiple areas and to see how far she’s come and how much they’ve grown has been amazing.

Their biological kids and the foster girls have also formed an unbreakable bond. They went from friends to siblings and they have wonderful friendships. Deborah commented,

They are family and it is beautiful.

How Their Life Has Changed

One of the obstacles when fostering is balancing the quick family growth. They went from two kids to four kids overnight. They had two boys and then gained two girls. Their oldest daughter is only two months older than their youngest son. So during 10 months out of the year, they call them twins! Deborah said,

Our family has grown and so have our hearts. We have learned how to help and advocate for our daughter with special needs. We cannot imagine life without them! This is better than what I dreamt of for our family.

Their lives changed permanently for the better. They are raising four happy, healthy, and beautiful children.

Deborah’s Words of Advice

When we asked Deborah about any advice she would give to anyone trying to adopt or foster, she said,

It’s going to be hard, but there is healing to be had and the love you share is worth it. There might even be days when you question what you got yourself into! But as time goes on, as you learn to know and love one another there is so much beauty in it. I think it has also helped us remember that it’s not only okay, but good to adjust expectations, not only with your kids but with life in general.

She continued with a great point about trust,

You can’t correct until you connect. You can’t connect until they trust you. They will not trust until they feel safe. This is us: Gunnar, Deborah, Evan, Sarabeth, Avery and Zoey.

Thank you, Deborah, for sharing how your family overcame obstacles when fostering to adopt. We appreciate your openness and wonderful advice.

If you are interested in fostering or adopting, please check out these resources HERE.

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