During 2011, 26000 children aged out of the US Foster Care system (link: http://waysandmeans.house.gov/uploadedfiles/kelly_rosati_testimony22713.pdf )
Children who age out of Foster Care lack a permanent family support network, lasting a lifetime in far too many cases. 80% of children who age out of foster care are destined to "fail" as adults. These individuals are more likely to live homeless, commit crimes or end up in prison than their counterparts who find family permanence through adoption.
Ever since I was a young child, I knew I wanted to build a family through Foster-adoption. I saw documentaries, weekly local news segments, and knew families formed through adoption while I was growing up. I became a single Mom to my biological child in my mid-20s and things weren't easy, but I never gave up on my dream to adopt.
Finding my twins through the Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange, Inc. website was the realization of my longtime dream. I saw their trachs, read some about their development and knew they would be considered "difficult to adopt"- and most at-risk to age-out if they were not connected with a family before age 5. Age 5 is the transition year where kids go from being "sought" to being "unlikely to be adopted"- odds decrease again at about age 10. I knew that medical concerns such as my twins' made them less likely to find a forever family- and my heart opened to the possibility that these two were "my children".
It seems like ancient history now but I was matched with Adrien & Tavish in late February of 2007 and learned all about them at a Disclosure Meeting on March 9. The team was happy that I was familiar with trachs (through my teaching career) and that the information they gave me did not frighten me off. I met them soon after the meeting and held my son in my arms as he snuggled into me to sleep while my daughter watched & played nearby. That first day cemented their place in my heart and they arrived home in June & have been thriving & running me ragged since.
The number of children living in foster care in FY2011 is estimated at about 401,000. The majority of these children are in transitional placements- where they live could change as soon as 10 days from any given day. Pause for a moment and imagine the level of instability you might feel if you could be moved 10 days from now and were powerless to prevent it or decide where it is you would go next.
As of the close of FY 2011, just over 104,000 of these children are living in foster care awaiting adoption. The rights of their birth parents have been terminated, they live in transitional placements, and they wait. 104,000 children without permanent parents continue to wait for a family to commit to them. What are YOU waiting for?
If you would like to adopt beautiful children like Adrien and Tavish go to www.adoptuskids.org