Adopting a Teen: The Heartwarming Journey of Audrey and Sam
June 6, 2024

Adopting a Teen: The Heartwarming Journey of Audrey and Sam


Adopting a teenager is often shrouded in misconceptions and unwarranted fears, but Audrey and Sam's heartwarming journey to parenthood dispels these myths, revealing the profound beauty and unique joys that come with welcoming an older child into a family. Contrary to popular belief, adopting a teen can be incredibly enriching. In the U.S., nearly 20,000 teens age out of the foster care system each year without ever finding a permanent family. Audrey and Sam's story highlights how transformative and rewarding teen adoption can be.

A New Beginning

On December 13th, 2022, Audrey and Sam’s lives changed forever. It was the day they met Autumn, a 12-year-old girl who would soon become their daughter and breathe new life into their family. They had only two days to prepare before she came to live with them permanently but as Audrey recalls, "I know that was the day I finally came to life."

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Unconditional Love

Audrey initially feared that not giving birth to Autumn would somehow affect their bond. But over the past year, she has learned that love knows no bounds. "For me, loving Autumn is the easiest thing I've ever done. I was so scared that not giving birth to her would mean the connection wouldn't be the same. That she would never love me like a 'real mom' or that I wouldn't be her 'mom'. I know now so much more than I did a year ago. I know what every mom means when she says she would do anything in the world for her kids," Audrey explains.

A Journey of Healing

Audrey wishes she could erase all the pain and hurt Autumn experienced before coming into their lives. "I hate, hate, hate that Autumn went through everything she did to get to me. I wish I could take all that hurt from her. I wish I could change the circumstances by how she became my daughter." Audrey reflects. Despite the hardships, Audrey is grateful that they found each other. Autumn's presence has filled their home with love, laughter, and endless possibilities.

Dreams Do Come True

To Audrey, Autumn is more than just her daughter; she's a living, breathing miracle. Audrey sees herself reflected in Autumn—her hair, her heart, and even her sass. While she may not have given birth herself, Audrey believes that Autumn's arrival is no coincidence. "I used to have these dreams years and years ago where I'd be holding a baby girl in my arms. She'd look up at me & she'd look just like me. I knew that she was my daughter. Now, I've never given birth & I don't know if I ever will. But I don't think it's a coincidence that the first kiddo that came to us is a daughter who looks (and is) just like me. I'm not saying I dreamt her to life, but I guess I can say dreams do come true," Audrey explains.

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Capturing the Moment

Autumn's adoption day was beautifully captured by one of our volunteer Framing Forever photographers, CSigPhotography. The photos from that day reflect the joy, relief, and overwhelming love shared by the new family. These cherished images serve as a testament to the incredible journey they have embarked upon together, preserving the precious moment when Autumn officially became part of their forever family.

If you or someone you know is considering adoption or wants to support children in foster care, explore our Framing Forever program. Learn how you can make a difference and help capture the precious moments of families like Audrey, Sam, and Autumn. Visit to learn more.

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