It’s what many of us consider a simple rite of passage.
Getting your driver’s license.
But for teenagers in foster care, it’s not a given. Often times they aren’t in one place long enough to find someone to teach them and if they do get their license, whose car would they drive?
15 year old Dean Hillard is studying for his permit with his dad. Something he wouldn’t be doing if he hadn’t been adopted when he was 9 years old. Dean spent three years in foster care after he was taken from his biological family at age 6.
Laverne Moore-Jenkins and her husband Terry have been fostering children for almost 30 years. They have always enjoyed working with teens to help them get the skills they need to transition out of the foster care system as well as provide them a place to visit.
By the time Raychelle joined the Jenkins family at the age of 15, she had lived in 26 homes. She is deaf and developmentally delayed, and had never learned American Sign Language. Working together, they learned. Now they sign to each other, and Raychelle knows hundreds of words.
Just as every child deserves a home, we believe all parents deserve support and time to bond with their children. The 2018 Top 100 Best Adoption-Friendly Workplaces survey opens next month! If your employer offers adoption benefits, we want to hear about it. Encourage them to take part in our survey, which will be available beginning January 8: https://davethomasfoundation.org/partner/become-an-adoption-friendly-workplace/
The foster care adoption process can seem long and unending, but it is always worth it. Isaac and Teague spent nearly 1,400 days in foster care. That’s almost four years!
Today they are home, together and excited to celebrate the holiday season with their forever family. Their mom shared, “It was a long journey with lots of ups and downs but these boys needed us and we needed them.”
To meet CJ today, you’d never know there was a time when he didn’t speak, that he feared his food would be taken away or that he would use negative behaviors to protect himself. Today, when you meet CJ he will tell you he likes to eat dinner with his family and that he loves his dog. CJ can tell you these things because he was adopted by his mom, Dee. CJ has autism, but Dee never lets that define her son. She showers him with the love that every child deserves and after a while, CJ realized that she wasn’t going to leave, there would always be dinner on the table and he was safe.
For this guest blog, Foundation staff members interviewed Karen about her foster care adoption journey and her daughter, Monarika, who was adopted through the Foundation’s Wendy’s Wonderful Kids program.
Robbin and Steven hadn’t considered adopting two children. But when Rachel, a Wendy’s Wonderful Kids Recruiter, told them about Dawson and Dalton, they knew they had to keep the boys together.
“I kept praying for years and years that they wouldn’t take me away from Dalton,” said Dawson. “I was very afraid.”
Today, the brothers are thriving together in their home. Dawson is doing well in school, Dalton’s health has markedly improved (he has both epilepsy and cerebral palsy) and the boys’ laughter fills the house.
By Rita L. Soronen, President & CEO Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption
“She never has to worry again. She’ll always have a home.” Dwain Hargis sums it up in describing the security his family is able to give his adopted daughter, Olivia. It is the sentiment that drives the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption to advocate for foster care adoption and it is the feeling that every child waiting in foster care deserves. This year, on November 18, the Foundation anticipates that more than 5,000 children to have that feeling as their adoptions are finalized on or around National Adoption Day.