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.
One Arizona mom is making a big difference in the lives of orphaned kids. Both she and her husband have adopted a total of four kids so far. They are planning to adopt another girl in the near future. Together the Gagnon couple has six kids, which includes four adopted kids and two biological ones.
Stacey Gagnon is not just adopting any children. She and her husband are adopting orphaned kids that nobody wants because they have severe defects or disorders. One of her adopted kids named Joel has only one ear and suffers from a facial deformation. Another of the couple’s adopted kids has spina bfida and needs a wheelchair for mobility. Additionally, another one of her adopted kids has suffered traumatic brain injury. Yet another adopted child needs a feeding tube in order to survive.
The nurse and mother of six kids says she is heartbroken by the fact that nobody seems to want these kids. They are often cast aside by their own parents and families. Due to the fact that nobody wants them, they are often taken into state care. Conditions and care at some of these orphanages can be abysmal. So Stacey and her husband who is a school teacher are adopting these kids and giving them a loving home.
Stacey Gagnon says that it is very difficult to be a parent of an adopted child and even more difficult when that child has a severe deformity and illness. In these cases it is even more important to let these kids know that you love them and that you will be there for them. Many of the orphaned kids have faced stares and gasps from their fellow peers, which Mrs. Gagnon says is very painful to experience. She recently made a stir on the web when she called out kids for staring and gasping at one of her adopted sons during a church event. Her posting was aimed at encouraging empathy and understand of sickly and deformed children such as her own adopted kids.
Same-sex couples and single people have been discriminated for a long time, especially regarding adoption of children. However, in Queensland, the Labor bill passed the reform of the state’s adoption laws after a debate with the esteemed Speaker casting the final vote. Therefore, same sex couples and couples seeking fertility treatments were allowed to register themselves on the adoption register.
Insights of the Supporting Party
Shannon Fentiman, a famed Government minister, expressed her joy of passing the bill that previously discriminated the same-sex couples. She mentioned that Queensland community had prevented these individuals from meeting the needs of children through adoption. She added that children’s needs should be prioritized and met without considering the parents’ sexuality or their single status. Shannon cited that these individuals encouraged a positive relationship and a nurturing and supportive home for children.
The Opposition Party’s Views
Ros Bates, an opposition MP, cited that the action of allowing adoption of children by same-sex couples was because of the minimum number of adoptions in Queensland annually. Bates also argued that Queensland had a limited number of children seeking adoption; therefore, it was inadequate to guarantee a relaxation of the adoption eligibility criteria.
A Touching Testimony
Steven Miles, a well-known Labor MP, cited that he was aware of a same-sex couple that became foster parents to a young boy. The couple nurtured and loved him despite his worst behaviors. As a result, the boy learned to understand and reciprocate their love. Steven mentioned that the young boy is currently proud of the couple and wants them to officially adopt him since they helped him overcome his sad past during the last five years. The Queensland bill of same-sex couples and single people’s adoption rights has earned the state popularity, unlike the Northern Territory of Australia and South Australia that still prohibits adoption by same-sex couples.
ABC News reported on 18 July that an 18-year-old who had been in foster care for over 13 years had been adopted into a forever home. According to this article http://abcnews.go.com/Lifestyle/18-year-spent-13-years-foster-care-adopted/story?id=48679708 Carson Petersen, an 18-year-old young man from Fresno was adopted by his foster parents Rex and Renee Petersen after having spent over 13 years oscillating between foster homes. He was placed into the foster system at three years of age when his biological mother took her own life. Carson Petersen has been put under the care of his biological father five years later when he was eight, but three years down the line he was homeless in the street. Thus he was brought back into the foster system.
After moving from one foster home to another and experimenting with drugs and alcohol for a short while, Carson met the Petersens. He says that his life changed for the better from that point on as they are a Christian family that believes in him and sees the best in him. Even through hardships and challenges, this family never gave up on him, treating him like one of theirs. He says that he was happy that he was made to feel like he belonged, and was grateful for the love that he was shown. That is why he requested them to adopt him right before Christmas of 2016.
Rex Petersen says that it was a no-brainer. They had lived with Carson since 2014 and had come to like him for his good nature and natural instinct to help people. They said that they considered Carson as their son and were happy to make that fact official. Rex stated that it is devastating to watch kids go through the foster system, moving from one home to another and back into the system. He was only happy to provide a home to one and give their life meaning. The adoption was formalized on June 30th at the Fresno County Superior Court.
Studies show that adopted children suffer from learning disabilities at more than twice the rate of children born biologically to both parents. The result is that many parents of adopted children find themselves in need of professional special education services.
It brings up a lot of issues, including the possible need to find a special needs private school, or if the child attends a public school, making sure that this public institution has the proper resources to handle disabilities. Some parents resort to home schooling while others hire outside private professional help.
Although it is well known that children of adoptive parents have a significantly higher rate of learning disabilities and other issues, finding reliable data to back it up has been elusive so far. Studies have been done, but statistical results vary widely.
For example, a study conducted at Illinois State University found that fully 40 percent of kids that are adopted are receiving special education services. But another similar study done by the Institute of Family Studies came in with a rate of 24 percent.
Although these results are highly at variance statistically, it is an almost certainty that when looking at all children – both adopted and those belonging to natural parents together – the rate of special needs is 10 percent of all students.
What does it mean? The implications are many. For one, parents who are considering adoption should be aware that the child they plan to adopt is much more likely to require expensive, long-term special education resources.
Other implications from the statistics concern funding decision for various government programs. When lawmakers formulate budgets for special education having reliable data on how much to spend on such resources is critical.
The bottom line, however, is that adopted kids are more likely to require special education resources.
Anna Lokey’s husband, Shaun broached the idea of adopting a child, which took her off guard, to the extent that she considered it an understatement. She felt she wasn’t ready to bring up someone else’s child, whereas the husband took it as his duty to adopt a child owing to his childhood experience and upbringing. After a few years, Shaun shared a video with his wife on adoption and beseeched her that it was not about being a perfect parent, but rather being available and participating in their daily lives. It took a long conversation and prayers to have the couple add three more children to their three biological children.
Being a Parent of an Adopted Child
According to Shaun, adoption can be quite exhaustive and expensive. The cost in 2016 stands from $ 20,000 to $ 50,000 per child. The costs are distributed to travel, paperwork and licensing. Prospective parents should look into grant programs. Anna and Shawn adopted Lily in 2010 when she was only two years old, Judah in 2010 at age 6 and Milo in 2014 when he was three years. Each child comes with unique challenges. For instance, Judah had some roots in his language and culture.
Challenges that come along with adoption
The language barrier is also one of the problems faced and the time is taken to adapt. It is also an uphill task trying to connect with your children emotionally since the young adopted children are slow to warm up to their new homes, surroundings, and parents. You have to deal with your fears of rejection and the many ups and downs.
Statistics on adoption and parenting in the U.S Alone
More than 110,000 children were adopted in 2016 according to the National Council for Adoption, a figure down from 2007’s 133,000. The decline is attributed to the drop in foreign adoption and the harsh economic conditions. The State Department reports that in 2016, parents in the United States adopted 5,372 children from other countries, compared to 22,884 children in 2004. The figure has been consistently declining every year since that peak.