Austin & Montana Glenn adopted their infant daughter in 2021. What they learned from that experience is that they had lots more love to give – and wanted to share that with an older child by adopting from foster care. Fast forward, and now their family of 3 has doubled in size, with the addition of twin teen girls and their brother.
Harmony and her mom, Rebecca, have a lot in common. They both love makeup. They both like to dye their hair fun colors (Harmony maybe more than Rebecca, who says she embraced her rainbow-hued hair mostly because “getting our hair done was something we could do together”). And they both spent 8 years of their lives in foster care.
17-year-old Carolyn knows that her chances of finding a forever family are slim. 17-year-olds with difficult history aren’t in high demand like infants and toddlers are. But sometimes family emerges where we least expect it, so we’re not giving up hope or slowing down our efforts to find Carolyn a family to call her own.
Children who spend years in foster care waiting for their forever family have every reason to wonder if they’ll ever be adopted. For these three sisters, their forever day came after over 3,600 days — that’s 10 years! – in care.
For teens in foster care, turning 18 offers a very different reality. They don’t have that safe place to call home. The home most of us can go to when things get hard, or family to call when we need advice. While nothing compares to the forever family every youth deserves, there are resources in place for Indiana teens at risk of “aging out” of foster care.
Reading child summaries can be daunting: they outline every difficult thing that has happened to a foster child, and sometimes it can feel as though the child’s challenges and needs outweigh the strengths and positives. While the summary does include the child’s strengths, likes and dislikes, what they hope for in a family, and so on, reading those words isn’t the same as experiencing the child in person. After all, humans are too complex to be summed up by words on a page.
Ask anyone who’s raised children through the teenage years, and they’ll tell you, parenting a teen is not for the faint of heart! Maybe you have a pre-adoptive placement who has just entered adolescence and you’re finding it challenging to connect with them. Or maybe you’ve just been matched with a teenager who is about to move into your home and you’re panicking about how to relate to them. You are not alone! We’ve put together some tips on how to make the teen years a little more enjoyable (or at least a little less daunting) for everyone involved.
As a single man in his 50′s, Andrew never saw himself as a father. “I thought the whole idea was pretty much preposterous, you know. My age. Single. What business do I have doing this?” said Andrew. But when Andrew saw Alex’s news segment, he saw so much of himself in Alex that he knew he wanted to help. Seven months after meeting Alex and just three days before Alex’s 18th birthday, their adoption day arrived. Andrew surprised Alex with cake, and Alex was thrilled to make it official. “After 13 years, it’s good,” said Alex. “After 13 years, I’m done. Out of the system!”
Hosting match events is one of the most enjoyable activities we get to do at Indiana Adoption Program. These events are held every couple of months, and bring together recommended pre-adoptive families with youth who are looking for their forever home. Match events can be magical to watch — we get to see a room of timid kids and adults turn from strangers to fast friends in just a few short hours.
When you think of millennials, what comes to mind? Maybe college students in coffee shops, “digital natives,” or younger people who have a renewed interest in collecting “vintage” items like Polaroid cameras, vinyl records, or needlepoint. But how many of you think of millennials as adoptive parents…to teens? Maricela and Cody — in their 20s themselves — share why they decided to adopt a teen from foster care, and offer some advice for other families.