Kids Up for Adoption Through Foster Care
Did you know there are over 125K kids up for adoption through foster care? Not only are these children in need of loving homes, in most states adoption through foster care is free! Today we chat with Stephanie Acker about the best kid in the entire world, her new son.
She was gracious enough to answer some questions regarding kids up for adoption and her family’s journey through foster care. Her family just finalized Nicholas’s (the son) adoption on July 31st!
Q. When did you start your adoption journey?
A. Our Foster journey started in 2016. After 7 years of unsuccessful fertility treatments and procedures, we felt God closing the door on that chapter of our life, however, the desire to have a family was very much still there.
We started to pray and research what this could look like for us and through a series of very intentional events and amazing people, we were introduced to the world of foster care. We did not enter this journey with a heart to adopt. In fact, I would say we were pretty sure we’d be forever foster parents.
But Nickolas changed everything. We had a laundry list of concerns and questions and the minute he walked through our front door, nothing else mattered but loving him! Nickolas was placed with us for about a year and a half and we were fortunate he chose us to be his forever family!
Q. Please share your adoption experience with us.
A. Like so many others, there were highs and there were hard moments in our adoption story. Whatever “success” we had in parenting and loving Nickolas well came from our support network and our Foster agency, Starry. They were beyond incredible and walked with us every step of the way, which was crucial for us, since Nickolas was our first foster placement ever.
They trained us in TBRI (Trust-Based Relational Intervention) which set the tone for helping us parent Nickolas well. TBRI is all about connection, attachment, and empowering our kiddos and helping breakdown fear-based behaviors. Can’t say enough about it. Caring for a kiddo from a hard place takes patience and grace and ensuring that you are taking care of yourself too, so you can set yourself up for success in challenging parenting moments.
Loving Nickolas was easy, but helping him understand all the emotions he was feeling and how he could express those in a healthy manner was something TBRI and Starry helped us with!
Before we were given the option to adopt Nickolas, CPS did locate the family in another state that was willing to take him in. He spent about two months with them before he returned. This was definitely one of the harder moments in our journey. You go into foster care knowing that not every placement turns into adoption, in our case we weren’t even seeking adoption. But again, Nickolas changed everything. Those two months were excruciating. But we leaned on each other and trusted what God was doing. Thankfully, we were able to welcome him back home forever very soon after! Picking him up from the airport was one of the highs. We’ll never forget how excited we were to see him and how tight he hugged us.
Covid19 did it’s best to delay Nickolas’ adoption,. But our virtual adoption was so fun! It allowed us to share the adoption with way more friends and family that we thought, even friends in other states! They say there is power in permanency, and we’ve seen that first hand over these last few weeks!
Q. What is the best experience you’ve had through this process?
A. Honestly, Nickolas was the answer to a long time prayer. Reflecting back on how God intricately led us to each other is nothing short of a miracle. It’s also been our joy to share our story with anyone and everyone who will listen. And to encourage those who are interested in fostering and adoption!
Q. How has your life changed since you started this journey?
A. Our life has changed in every way possible! Nickolas has stretched and grown us individually and collectively in more ways than we thought possible. He is our testimony to what God can do in such a broken world. We are better people for loving Nickolas and our marriage has a renewed purpose. Not to mention, we can’t wait to foster again!
Q. Any advice you’d like to share with people choosing to adopt?
A. Just do it! We took so long thinking through the what if’s and wondering if we could do it. We had so many pre-conceived notions about kiddos in foster care and now that we’ve lived it, it feels no different than our friends and family with biological children. They are just kiddos in need of love and security and consistency and someone to just show up for them! So don’t overthink, just show up and everything else will fall into place, I promise.
In conclusion, we want to thank Stephanie and her family for sharing their insight on kids up for adoption through foster care. Their story is a beautiful reminder that love is what makes a family.
For those looking for kids up for adoption, check out our adoption calculator HERE for costs by adoption type and state.
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