There is a growing need for foster parents in Indiana. Many children have been taken from their homes and put in foster care because of the growing substance abuse problem in the state. Department of Child Services has already completed 1,800 adoptions this year. Three years ago, only 1,000 children in Indiana were adopted.
Mary Beth Bonaventura is the Director of the Department of Social Services in Indiana. She stated that there is a great need for foster homes. This is the most children that DCS in Indiana has had in custody at one time. There are currently 23,000 children in foster care in the state.
In many cases, the children stay with their extended family until they are adopted. Children are sometimes able to be reunited with their biological parents. However, this can be a difficult process. It can also be a long process. It is especially important for older children to be in a good home.
Some children who grow in foster care end up struggling with addiction or go to jail. However, many of them are able to become successful adults because they get put with a good family. Mary has a personal story of a child who grew up in foster care. There was a boy who was struggling and fighting with everyone. His life changed for the better after he was placed with the right family.
He graduated from high school with honors. DCS has a program called the Indiana Heart Gallery. This program promotes adoption by sharing photos and success stories of children who have been adopted. This program was created by the Indiana Department of Child Services in 2007.
Speaking from experience I know how magical it is to go to Disney World. Taking your family to Disney World and watching the excitement in your children’s eyes is an indescribable experience. One family, Courtney and Tom Gilmore along with their foster children April and Janielle managed to top this experience according to CBS News yesterday evening at http://www.cbsnews.com/news/mickey-mouse-surprises-brother-and-sister-with-adoption-news
This family’s most magical moment came when they took their children and Mickey Mouse announced that the Gilmour family would be permanently adopting the siblings, April age 12 and Janielle, age 10. The Gilmours arranged a private meet and greet with Mickey Mouse and slipped him a wooden sign. Mickey Mouse held up the sign announcing the official adoption date. This was a true magical moment, as the girls have been in and out of foster care most of their lives. The girls had been with the Gilmour family for over 3 years and thought this day would come but was surprised that Mickey Mouse was the one to reveal the official adoption date. The girls cried with excitement and relief.
Courtney Gilmour told CBS News that as a child she was a foster child too. She understands what is involved in being a foster child and how it changes your life. She knew that someday she wanted to be a foster parent. Only a month after the Gilmours were married, they became foster parents. They have fostered 13 children over the years, including April and Janielle. Most have been short term placements. April and Janielle are now a permanent part of the Gilmour family. The official adoption date was May 25, 2017. The heart warming story recently made news due to 1.5 million views on facebook of the magical Mickey Mouse moment.
In a recent article on the Huffington Post, an Indian-American mother shares her story of adopting two white girls. She and her husband decided to adopt the twins after fertility problems, later giving birth to a biological child as well. The author says she loves all her children equally.
Though she tries not to make race and culture an everyday serious discussion, the author says it creeps into life often. From sending lunch boxes full of traditional Indian foods to school with her kids to actively seeking out a diverse group of friends, parts of life that other moms barely think about are always on her mind. Though she admits it would make her and her children’s lives easier to just pack a lunch like all the other kids eat, this mother makes an effort to immerse all of her kids in their culture.
Despite her efforts, the author always experiences racial awareness whenever she takes her children out in public. Whether they mean to be insensitive or not, people ask her questions that make her heart sink. From “What are they?” to “Are you their nanny?” to “Where are their parents?”, questions from strangers make this mom feel awkward and scared for her twins’ future.
Though it comes with daily struggles and hardships, the author says she is happy about her family’s unique traditions. The combination of Indian and American customs are what makes her family one of a kind. She also notes that growing up Indian-American as white girls gives her kids a unique outlook on life. From knowing how to cook traditional dishes and speaking Tamil to forcing people to feel sheepish for making assumptions about them based on their names, these girls have a bright future.
Hill Harper always wanted to be a father, but he always envisioned himself doing it the traditional way. He thought that he was going to get married before he started his family. He did not plan on becoming a single father, but he is happy to be a new father.
Hill recently adopted an 18-month old boy named Pierce. He stated that adopting Pierce was the best decision he made in his life. He believes that fate brought him and Pierce together.
Hill began thinking about adoption in Spring 2015. At first, he did not think that he was ready. However, a close friend told Hill that he would make a great parent. Hill contacted an attorney who told him about the process of adoption. The attorney told him that there was a woman who was getting ready to get give birth and was looking for someone to adopt her child.
Pierce was born in December 2015. Hill was there when the baby was born. He also cut the umbilical cord. Hill admitted that he was afraid to adopt the baby at first. He knew that his life was going to change forever. However, the fears that he had are small compared to the joy that he has gained.
Even though Hill is a single father, he has a lot of help. His mother and other close relatives are helping him. He is also getting help from his girlfriend.
There were a lot of things that Hill did not do before he became a parent. The first time he changed a diaper was 18 months ago. However, he is slowly getting the hang of parenting. He is cherishing every moment that he spends with his son.
Shaun and Anna Lokey are a married couple who live in Alabama. They have three of their own biological children. However, they felt that there was something missing in their life. This made them interested in adopting a child from another country. Shaun’s parents were going to adopt a child when he was a young boy. However, a relative of the child decided to raise him before the adoption could become official. Shaun thought about that experience and made the decision to investigate everything that is involved in adopting a child. He found out the process was not as hard as he thought it would be.
The Lokey family eventually found out that China was one of the easiest countries to adopt a child from. This is because China has the largest population in the world. Therefore, they have many unwanted children who are in desperate need of a loving home. The Chinese government carefully looks into the backgrounds of all parents who are interested in adopting a child. However, the process does not take very long once it gets started. The one negative thing about the adoption process is the amount of money that is required. It can cost as much as $50,000 to adopt a child. Travel to a place like China can be expensive. There are also many forms that need to be filed and the licensing process that the adopting parents must go through. Fortunately, there are a variety of programs set up by the United States government that offer grants to parents interested in adopting a child.
The Lokeys eventually decided to adopt three children from China. They originally only intended to adopt one child. However, they realized as soon as they got to China that there were many children who needed a home. They visited an orphanage and fell in love with some of the children. They made plans to adopt two additional children during their visit. They are happy with their decision.
Steve and Patti Fisher, who live in Lawrence, KS, are the parents of two adopted children. They have a 7-year-old daughter named Prudence and a 5-year-old son named Shawn. They officially became a part of the family in May 2017. Prudence and Shawn lived with the Fischers off and on as foster children four years prior to being adopted.
Now that Steve and Patti are officially parents, they want to educate other people about the joys of adopting a child. They will be hosting an event on June 11. The event will educate people about becoming a foster parent and helping people decide whether it is right for them.
The number of children being taken in by Department of Children and Family Services is increasing. Patti stated that people who want to be a foster parent but are waiting for the perfect moment do not have to keep waiting. She stated that life is never perfect. If you wait for everything to be perfect, then you will be missing out on a lot of life’s special moments.
Prudence and Shawn moved in with the Fishers in July 2013. They were moved to family placement three weeks later. They came back to live with the family permanently in January 2014. The biological parents had supervised visitation. In 2015, the children were temporarily placed with their biological father.
Patti and Steve visited the children while they were living with their biological father. They knew that it was not safe to live Prudence and Shawn with their father. They called the agency and stated that it was not safe to live the children there. The adoption process started in early 2016 when the biological parents signed over their rights.
Patti and Steve admitting that being parents is a tough job. However, they would not change anything about it. They also stated that the advantages outweigh all of the concerns that they have.