Janice and her husband, Will, recently adopted a brother and sister, ages 13 and 16 respectively. She shares her thoughts and a few lessons she’s learned about first fostering and then adopting teenagers.
I always wanted to adopt. My best friend growing up was adopted and when I was dating my husband, I told him I wanted to adopt. Luckily, he was on board.
I was particularly interested in adopting siblings. I had heard stories about siblings being separated when adopted and thought how sad that is and how terrifying it must be for them. They were just taken away from everything and everyone they know and then to lose their last connection.
When we were ready to adopt, we went to an information session provided by Diakon Adoption & Foster Care.
Earlier this month, 60 young adults ages 18 to 24 traveled to Washington, D.C., for the 2015 Congressional Foster Youth Shadow Experience. It was a wonderful event that brought together young people with personal experience in the foster care system with their congressional representative for a chance to learn from one another.
For two days, they studied issues trending in the foster care world before meeting with their congressman and getting to work. It was an empowering experience for these young adults, and one I was thrilled in which to participate.
Having been in foster care myself for six years, I was there to share my experience with these younger “brothers and sisters” and let them know there are many organizations and foster care alumni ready to lend a hand.