A Family Adopted Three Children

Recently, a heartwarming article about adoption was published in US News and World Report. Shaun and Anna Lokey have three biological children; however, Shaun was also interested in adoption. Anna says in the article that she was not sure about the idea because of failed adoption in her family as a child. She was also ambivalent about her abilities as a mother.

Over the next few years, Shaun revisited the idea with his wife. In the article, he told her that parents do not have to be perfect. They just need to be loving and willing. It was enough to convince Anna. Not only did they adopt a child from China, but they also adopted two more. There were some adjustments; however, the family of eight are flourishing, reports the article. The Lokeys are strong advocates of adoption, whether domestic or overseas.

The article shared that China is still the top country from where Americans adopt children. Some countries, such as Russia, have tightened their regulations on foreign adoptions. Meanwhile, the article mentions that domestic adoption is still going strong in the United States. In a current article from AdoptUsKids.org, adoptive father Bob Cole describes his life as “blessed” with his experience of over 40 years.

One of the reasons that this article touched home for me is that our two boys are adopted. Even though we got them as older children, they could not be any closer to our hearts than if we gave birth to them. Like the Lokeys, we certainly had our reservations at first. However, we could not have children of our own and desperately wanted to be parents.

We always say that we needed our boys as much as they needed us. Has life been a bowl of cherries? Of course not! There have been some obstacles that we had to overcome as a family. Children who come from the foster system are often so broken, it takes a lot of time, therapy, and love for them to heal. We are happy to say that we are another adoption success story like this article.

The Rise in the Number of Foster Children: Find Out the Recent Reforms to Encourage the Parents to Adopt the Children

Prevalence of the Foster Children

According to the recent data from the United States Children’s Bureau www.chidwelfare.gov , there are approximately 380,000 children in foster care in the United States. These children are either abandoned or abused by their family members. As a result, it becomes difficult for them to continue living with their relatives.

The affected children are both male and female. However, there exists a slight bias towards the male. These children experience emotional distress due to the difficulties they encounter in life. The problems are worsened by the fact that majority of the children are still young (averagely 8 years)

Reforms to Encourage Adoption of Foster Children

Recently, the Australian authorities have adopted a method aimed at encouraging the parents to adopt foster children. The reforms advocate for rewarding of the parents that adopt these children www.humanservices.gov.au . The government has set aside $90 million to fund the reforms over four years.
Those parents that adopt young children of up to four years will receive a fortnight allowance of $488. On the other hand, the parents who adopt teenagers will receive a relatively higher allowance of up to $738 every fortnight.

Benefits of the Reforms

These efforts are meant to encourage parents to adopt the foster children regardless of their economic status. Traditionally, the adoption was seen as a preserve of the rich in the society. This was primarily due to the cost implications that come along with adopting a child.

The Role to Be Played By Both Parties

The parent (s) of the adopted child is expected to provide love and care to the children. They are also obliged to offering the basic needs to the children. Additionally, they should ensure that the child is well educated. This would go a long way in ensuring both mental and physical stability. The child is expected to get all the required social amenities from the parent.

How the Foster Care System is Broken in California

On June 30, 2017, Carson Peterson became the adopted child of Tex and Rene Peterson after more than thirteen years in foster care, says Nicole Pelletiere (18-year-old who spent nearly 13 years in foster care adopted into forever home). Why was it so hard for Cardon to get adopted? With 68,000 children in foster care, it is a miracle he was found by the right family. Not only are there so many children in foster care, they are not all listed on the California foster care system’s website, California Kid Connection/]. For every child that is listed, there are at least 95 children that are not put up on the site, lowering their chances of ever finding their forever home. How would the Petersons even found Carson if he wasn’t listed? They would have had to be major advocates and have made phone call after phone call to find an unlisted child. One of the other big problems is the way the foster care system works in California. According to Jeff Catz of the Huffington Post, “California is one of about ten states that have a state-supervised and county-administered approach to foster care” (California adoption – Why Is It So Hard to Adopt from Foster Care?). This approach means that each county is a system within the statewide system and inter-county adoptions are rare and hard to process. Between the massive number of children in the the foster care system, the large number of those children not listed on California Kid Connection, and the bubbles that counties have become within the state, it is no wonder it took thirteen years for Carson to finally find a permanent, loving home.

Mickey Mouse Tells Kids Their Adoption Date

Elijah and Janielle knew that they were going to be adopted one day. However, they did not know the exact date. They thought that they were going to get adopted after the school year ended, but their real adoption date was closer than they thought.

Elijah and Janielle went to Disney World with their foster parents back in April 2017. They were given buttons and told to write down what they were celebrating. The kids wrote down that they were celebrating being adopted. The parents wrote down that they were celebrating adopting their children.

The park arranged for the children to meet Mickey Mouse. The children thought that they were just going to get their pictures taken with Mickey Mouse. However, Mickey Mouse actually told them the date that they were going to be adopted. Janielle and Elijah broke down crying when they found out that they were getting ready to be adopted.

The video of Elijah and Janielle breaking down after they found out their adoption date was posted online on July 6, 2017. It has received over 14 million views. Courtney Gilmore, whose is the children’s mother, stated that she knew the kids would be happy. However, she had no idea that they would break down and cry.

In most cases, when children hear exciting news, it takes a long time for them to process it. However, Elijah and Janielle had an immediate reaction when they found out that they were going to officially be a part of a family.

4 Things You Need To Do To Prepare For Adoption

When a couple makes a decision to adopt a child, they often think that it is as easy as filling out an application and selecting the child of their choice. However, there is nothing that can prepare a person for the difficult path ahead of them. Here are four ways that you can prepare for adoption:

1. Develop A Certain Mind Set

First and foremost, you need to have a clear mindset that it is not going to happen overnight. The road to adoption is quite long, and there are many obstacles that must be overcome. You must go through classes, have a home study, and get a physical to be approved. Then comes the hard part, waiting. Develop a mindset that this is not going to happen overnight. For some, it happens quickly, and for others, it takes years to adopt a child.

2. Close Out Your Pregnancy Struggles

Before bringing another child into your life, you need to make sure that you have dealt with all of your infertility struggles. You can’t focus on an adopted child if you are mourning a miscarriage or the fact that you cannot have children. Get counseling or do whatever necessary to find peace with these issues.

3. Get Your House Prepared

Some people find that getting their house ready is a great way to keep their mind busy. Start thinking about safety plugs in the light sockets and anything that could be dangerous to a child. When you are further along in the process, you can set up a room. Start buying things a little at a time so you are not overwhelmed when the day arrives. Just be careful not to go overboard as you don’t know the gender or age of the child yet. Things like blankets and toys are usually safe.

4. Ensure Your Marriage Is Strong

Finally, many people want to have a child to try to fix a problem in their marriage. If there are any lingering issues or complications from infertility, then you need to deal with those before starting a family.

While you are waiting for the call that a child has been matched with your family, you will have plenty to do keep you busy. Once you hold that child in your hands, it will seem like all that time was but a blink of an eye.

Police Offer Adopts Child He Rescued

Jody Thompson, who is a police officer, was recently honored by the Oklahoma Bureau of Investigations. He went above and beyond his call of duty. Stephen Fruen is the police chief. He stated that Jody has set an example for other people to follow. He also stated that men like Jody make him proud to be on the police force.

Jody’s life changed forever back in 2015. He received a call from someone who was concerned about a severely-abused child. Even though Jody was off-duty at the time, he still decided to respond to it. Jody was horrified when he arrived on the scene. There was an eight-year-old boy who had been badly beaten. He was also emaciated.

Jody stated that it was the worst case of child abuse he had ever seen. The boy’s body was covered in bruises and abrasions. Jody took the boy to the hospital and stayed with him as he recovered in the intensive care unit. When the body recovered, Jody decided that he was going to keep the boy.

The boy, whose name is John, has a sister. The mother was pregnant with John’s sister when the police found John. Seven months after taking in John, Jody decided to adopt the baby girl.

Jody and his wife officially adopted John in August 2016. The biological parents relinquished their rights because they were incarcerated. The baby girl, whose name is Paizley, was officially adopted in January 2017. John is now doing great. He is a straight-A student who loves doing community activities. He was by Jody’s side when he accepted the award. He stated that he owes a lot to Jody for taking him in.

Couple Adopts 7 Siblings

A couple in Florida has adopted seven children. The children’s names are Dava, Keyon, Erica, Eric, Necia, Reggie and Zavian. The children are all siblings, and their ages range from 4 to 12.

The couple have been married for 13 years. They have always wanted to adopt a child. When the couple heard about seven children who needed a family, they thought it was the perfect opportunity to have the family they always wanted. They decided to adopt all seven children because they did not want the siblings to be separated.

The couple, whose name is DaShoan and Sofia Olds, stated that they felt an instant connection when they met the children. They also felt that adoption was something they had to do. DaShoan stated that it would be selfish to not offer their home to the children. He stated that when you are blessed, you have to be a blessing.

One would think that the couple would be overwhelmed with seven children. However, Sofia stated that the couple is relaxed. They are enjoying the children.

Blaire Bell is the adoption representative. She stated that the children were in foster care for two years before they were adopted. The children were in a good foster home. However, her goal was to find a family that would take all of the children.

The couple has received national attention for adopting the children. They have set up a gofundme to help them with the expenses that they will incur from raising the children.

A Couple Adopted Seven Siblings

Adopting siblings is a great way to maintain an adopted child’s stability. A Family For Every Child indicates that a child’s siblings are their only “forever family” until adoption. They are the only people who have had a front row seat in the child’s life. Siblings understand each other intimately. Separating them can be devastating.

BBC.Com recently shared a story about a couple who adopted seven siblings. Georgia residents, Josh and Jessaka Clark did something most people would find unbelievable. On May 9, 2017, their only child Noah became one of eight children.

The Clarks adopted seven siblings after fostering them for two years. The adopted children were in a children’s home for almost four years before coming to live with the Clarks. Social Services finds it difficult to place children in homes with even one extra sibling. To take on a family of seven, is highly commendable.

In a report from Inside Edition, Jessaka Clark stated that when they were dating, Josh indicated he wanted ten children. She didn’t believe him then, but now she does!

ABC News reported that Jessaka is a stay at home mother while Josh works in finance.

The Clarks have embraced their new family and look forward to enlarging their house to accommodate all of the children. Currently, they have four girls in one bedroom and four boys in the other. The Clarks have already raised over $60,000 on their Go Fund Me page to help them make more room.

Jessaka and Josh Clark look at things from a spiritual perspective. They believe that God has called them to raise all of their children and they look forward to blessing even more children in the future.

Young Man Gets Adopted After 13 Years in Foster Care

It has been a very long and difficult road for Carson Petersen. The 18-year-old has been in and out of the foster care system since his mother killed herself when he was only three. He was briefly taken care of by his biological father. However, that did not go well and Carson wound up back in foster care again. Carson admits that he started to lose hope of ever belonging to a family like most people. However, his dream finally came true when he was officially adopted by Renee and Tex Petersen. The adoption was made official at the Fresno County Superior Court on June 30th. Carson is currently a senior in high school.

Carson has actually been a part of the Petersen’s family since 2014. However, Carson asked his foster parents to officially adopt him late last year. They knew how much such a gesture would mean to Carson. The Petersens have a biological son, Hunter, who is 18 as well. They also have a young son and daughter who are both adopted. Carson hopes that his story can be an inspiration to kids who still find themselves in the foster care system after many years. He believes that it is very important to never give up hope.

Carson does not have any plans for his immediate future. He is not sure if he wants to attend college. He just wants to focus on spending time with his family right now. The family has a vacation to Europe planned for later this year. Carson has never been able to travel outside of the United States. Needless to say, he is very excited about this new adventure in his life. Carson did admit that he wants to learn a foreign language because he is interested in other cultures.

Many children struggle to find a stable set of parents in the foster care system. Most parents who are interested in adopting want a very young child. This makes it very difficult for children over the age of eight to get people to be interested in adopting them. This often causes them to languish in the foster care system for many years. Studies have shown that children who spend a large portion of their childhood in a foster home often commit crimes and do poorly in school. Fortunately, Carson did not fall into either of those categories. He is a great student.

Recent Laws that Affects the Children Adoption Process In Texas

Children’s Right to Parental Care

It is the right of every child to receive parental love. Some children are unable to get it due to neglect by their families. As a result, these children end up facing mental torture caused by the challenging situations they encounter.

Eligibility of the Foster Parents

There are laws that allow parents to adopt these children. However, a controversy has emerged regarding the eligibility of the foster parents. In 2015, a federal judge in Texas ruled that the Texas Department of Child Protective Services had violated the constitutional rights of the children by exposing them to unreasonable risk www.atlantic.com/news . The judge argued that the parents to adopt the child must be of undisputed character.

Freedom to Serve Children Act, 2017

The judgment stirred a lot of debate that found its way into the Texas House of Representative. A bill (Freedom to Serve Children Act) was tabled in the house which empowered the government-funded foster care and adoption agencies to deny adoption rights to parents with questionable religious backgrounds www.pbs.org . This includes the transgender, same-sex couples and atheists.

Matters Arising from the Bill

The questions of whether the bill will ease the burden of placements of the foster children rages on. Critics argue that the bill will complicate issues for foster parents leading to reduced placements. There are currently more than 250,000 children waiting for placement in Texas. While it’s true that the children need the care and love of a family, it is paramount to ensure their safety.

The bill was passed to ensure that the children’s religious beliefs are not compromised by the new family. It is not worth to have a child adopt behaviors that are against their upbringing beliefs just so that they get parental love. Some of the children are relatively young. If adopted by a family with questionable characters, it is likely that the child will adopt the behaviors of the foster parents as they grow.

The children’s interests should be considered during the adoption process. The passage of the bill in Texas is a step in the right direction. It guarantees the children’s safety and comfort during their stay with the foster families.