New lives start here

More than 44,500 children in foster care have been adopted on National Adoption Day. It’s a day that represents new lives for children and for their parents. Learn what National Adoption Day means to those who have experienced it first hand.

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Organizations Family and adoptees Advocates

Category: Families and adoptees

Lafayette, LA

Category: Families and adoptees

La Canada-Flintridge, CA

I'm the mother of two biological children and two adopted children. My two adopted children are the joys of my life and their stories of courage are recounted in my book, "Momaholic, Crazy confessions of a Helicopter Parent". I devote a whole chapter in the book to each one of my kids. Adoptive parents will be encouraged and those considering adoption will be inspired.

I am a survivor

Category: Families and adoptees

Los Angeles, CA

Hi! I'm Cassidy and I am a survivor of the foster care system.

I spent many years of my early childhood in foster care before being adopted a month shy of six by my incredible loving family. I didn't have an easy start and was exposed to things that no child should ever be exposed to.

I have experienced a lot of loss. I was separated from my birth family and put into foster care with my sister, and then my sister was taken away from me too. She went with her birth father who wasn't related to me so I couldn't go. My foster family was going to adopt me but changed their minds. Finally at the age of six, an incredible family found me and gave me my forever home.

Living in foster care is like riding the subway. People come and go, faces blend, everybody gets off eventually. As a child in foster care, you learn to trust no one and to protect yourself, which is what I had to do. Because of that, I learned how to be pretty tough and form a protective shell around myself. This made me look like damaged goods, but inside I was just this little girl who wanted to feel loved and excepted. I wanted to belong somewhere. With the help of my forever family, I started to let my guard down and trust again.

In foster care, I learned to adapt to all of the different families, houses, cities, schools, foster parents, other foster children, doctors, social workers and anyone else who came into my life. Some people and experiences were nice, but others were not. I did not have play dates or activities outside of school. No one wanted to play with a foster kid. I remember praying very hard for a family. My own family. I would dream about what it felt like to be loved. I couldn't even use my foster family’s last name, and I remember as a kindergartner being very upset about that. I didn't belong anywhere or to anyone.

Luckily, for me, God heard my prayers. I guess he saw that I needed a family, so he blessed me with three sisters and an amazing loving open-hearted Mom and Dad who I love with all my heart. I couldn't have asked for a better family. Or one better fit for me! I went from having no Dad, to having the greatest, smartest, funniest Dad in the world. Someone who shows me how I deserve to be treated by a man someday. I went from having a Mom who couldn't take care of me to a Mom who supports and encourages every dream I have. A Mom who NEVER leaves my side. A Mom who teaches me how to be a Mom. I have three amazing big sisters who accept me and protect me and are great role models for me. I have my own cats, my own Dog, my own room!

Again I had to move, to change schools and homes and everything that was familiar to me. And even though I was happy to have my own attention, I was also scared to death every minute of every day that it could end at any time and once again I would be alone. And it has been scary to let my guard down and to trust again. But I found someone to stick with me. To believe in me. And not to judge me or where I have been. It helps to talk about it.

For all I have been through, I could be negative and bitter, but I chose not to let that negative energy invade my soul. Instead I choose to be a positive person and rise above everything that life throws at me! So now I move forward instead of backwards. I will not be defined by my past, instead I am defining my future. I use my experiences to inspire myself and inspire others. I know that I am strong. I can conquer anything. I can teach anyone to conquer anything. I am a survivor! I do not let go of my dreams. I just dream bigger now!

A few years ago, I decided that I really liked acting. I have a lot of energy and my parents put me in the theater. Soon I caught the bug. Then we moved out to California for my Dad’s job and I decided to try out an Acting camp in Los Angeles, where I really caught the bug! It suddenly became clear to me that THIS is what I was born to do. Before I knew it, I had an agent and a manager and I was auditioning for commercials and films. Suddenly I knew that all of these experiences I had and emotions I felt while in foster care, had a purpose and a place to express themselves. And that is exactly what I am doing. I am living my dream. Who would have ever guessed that this sassy little foster girl, without a home, without a family would end up an actress in Hollywood? But here I am! And three things got me here. God and his own plan, keeping my faith alive, and a few strangers willing to open their hearts and give me a chance!

And now that I am here, I know what my real purpose in life is. Acting is what I love to do. Using my voice to educate people and encourage others to being open to adopting a child from the system is my purpose. I want the world to know that adopting a child from foster care doesn't mean you are going to bring trouble into your life. Doesn't mean that you are getting damaged goods that cannot be fixed. Because inside we are all just dreaming and praying for a forever family to find us. For someone to give us a chance, support our dreams and find our own purpose. For someone to love us and accept us for who we are and where we came from, unconditionally. For someone to teach us what the word forever looks like. We want a last name that means something. We want to belong. That everyone doesn't just leave, but comes back too. For someone to help us apply to college and figure out what we want to study. To come home to at spring break. For someone to walk us down the isle and sit on our side of the church. For someone to bring our children home to at Christmastime and call Grandma and Grandpa. Someone to believe in us and teach us how to believe in ourselves. And we dream about this happening BEFORE we get to old and age out of the system. If you look up the word FOSTER In the dictionary, it means: to bring up, to nurture, to promote the growth and development of... to cherish. That is really what we want, to be cherished.

I am not just a previous foster child, I am Cassidy, and I AM A SURVIVOR!

I got adopted

Category: Families and adoptees

Corydon, IN

My husband and I married when we were in our late 30's early 40's. He had 2 children from previous marriages and I had never had children. My step-son was 5yo when we married. My husband and I discussed how blessed we felt with our lives and wanted to share this with others. We talked about adoption but wanted to adopt an older chid close to my step-sons age. By the time we figured out which road we wanted to travel my step-son was 7yo. We attended foster to adopt classes. Our first call for just fostering came for twin 7yos and a 2yo. Three 7yos and a 2yo was too much for me to fathom so we said no. The next call was for a 3mth old boy. We didn't say yes immediately because we were hoping for older children. But after talking and praying we said yes to fostering him. Three yrs later he became our son. He's 5yo now and is in kindergarten. We have always told him he grew in J's belly but she wasn't able to care for him and asked us to. We told him we loved him so much and he was so special because we got to pick him and he got to pick us. His assignment last week was to write what was special about him. He wrote "I am special because I was born in someones belly. I got adopted." We are blessed and hope that many others can feel this joy too!

Los Angeles adoption story

Category: Families and adoptees

Bakersfield, CA

I finalized my adoption of my niece last year on Sept 23,2011. I gained legal custody of her on Oct 29,2010. She had been in LA County foster care since birth and had been in about 6 foster homes before she finally landed with me. When we finalized our adoption I let out a huge sigh of relief because I knew that we were done with paperwork, social workers and court dates. It had been such a LONG and emotional journey not only for myself but for my niece and now we could finally get along with our lives and focus on just being our own little family. When she came to live with me she was an emotional 4 year old unsure of where she may go next but now she is a typical 7 year old little girl who understands that she is going to live with her auntie "forever and ever because she doesn't want me to be alone". She is doing well in school ( she got straight A's on her report card ). I never thought that I would be a single parent but then again I'm sure no one really ever does. I love my niece more than anything in the world and am so glad that I have her with me. She has brought me so joy and showers me with unconditional love and kisses. I strive everyday to be the absolute BEST person that I can be because I am responsible for the young lady that she'll grow up to be and I take my role as her mother very seriously. September 23 is a very special day in our house and not one that I'll soon forget.

Mom at last

Category: Families and adoptees

Seaford, DE

Sharon had a dream to become a mother which she was determined to follow. Her path was difficult but ultimately successful. Born in New Jersey and living in Delaware, she is married to her soul mate Rick and the very proud Mom to her two sons Dylan and Hunter.

Sharon struggled to become a Mom, dealing with the uncertain world of infertility including three In Vitro Fertilizations, Tubal Pregnancy, and the Loss of a Pregnancy with twin boys at 19 weeks. That loss only made her more determined to become a Mom. Thankfully that dream became a reality due to International Adoption. Sharon is inspired to share her experiences, to offer insight, and inspire other women find their strength to achieve their goal of becoming mothers. Her passion involves using her journey to motherhood to educate and help women become a “Mom at Last“. Her main message is to let women everywhere know that when you finally hold your child in your arms, no matter how that child became your child, you will understand and appreciate your journey to motherhood. please visit

We Believe in Adoption

Category: Families and adoptees


In the fall of 2007, my wife and I received a phone call that would change our lives forever.

We were months away from celebrating our tenth wedding anniversary. We had been undergoing infertility treatments and trying to have a baby for nearly five years. We were beginning to believe our dream of parenthood would never come true. We had cried and prayed and begged God. We had spent money, visited doctors, and researched every avenue available.

We were running out of hope.

And then we received that call from the flower girl in our wedding. She was now seventeen and pregnant, and she wanted us to be the parents of her little boy.

Wendi and I were scared. We were scared that she might change her mind. We were scared that we wouldn’t really feel like his parents. We were nervous about an “open” adoption. We had many reservations. But we wanted to be parents with every fiber of our being.

So we said yes.

On May 7, 2008 we received another phone call, and just a few hours later we were holding our little Isaac John in the hospital nursery for the very first time.

Our lives would never be the same.

Wendi and I were high school sweethearts. We had a fantastic marriage. We were best friends. But Isaac was able to complete a part of us that would otherwise have always been missing: parenthood. Sharing the responsibility, laughter, fatigue, joys, and messy moments of parenthood has united us like nothing else could.

Six weeks after Isaac was born, Wendi discovered she was eight weeks pregnant with no infertility treatments at all. Elijah Luke came into this world on January 31, 2009.

It was after having Elijah that Wendi and I were fully able to understand the miracle of adoption. We knew we had a completely selfless love for Isaac. But when we added Elijah to our family, we were able to confirm that the love for Isaac was identical to the love we had for our biological son. There was absolutely no difference.

The truth is that none of our early reservations about adoption mattered at all. It didn’t matter that Isaac had a birth family that shared in his life. It didn’t matter that we had to wait forty-eight hours to assure that he would join our family. It didn’t matter that Wendi didn’t carry him in her womb. Isaac was our little boy.

We realized that we were the lucky ones. It felt unfair that just because we were financially able to afford the costs, we got to be parents while someone else who deserved it just as much did not.

We hope to adopt again one day. We believe in it that much. But right now, our passion is trying to help other couples experience the miracle that we were so incredibly fortunate to experience. We recently started an organization: which strives to help raise money for other couples to adopt.

Family of 7

Category: Families and adoptees

Commerce Township, MI

Adoption is not only for rich stay at home moms! My husband and I are boring normal people. We don't home school or recycle as much as we should. We sometimes forget to scoop the litter (yuck - sorry Allie) and we are middle class. I work in a call center and he is a restaurant. That did not stop us! We had two biological children ages 14 and 4 when we decided we wanted more. We could not have more children but that was okay because the thought of changing diapers and lack of sleep did not appeal to us either. We had this age gap in our family. Why not fill it? After finding out that older child adoption was not only free but we would be able to receive assistance to help support the child, we were in. Amazing we thought. We took the classes and completed the home study. That was it's own hell and heaven but, I will save it for another story. Finally,we were approved. That is when then roller coaster began. The matching process, the wait, adoptive parent's purgatory. We had several failed matches, were jerked around and ran into several dead ends. We like most waiting families began to loose hope...until Chris happened. Thank God for the foster adoptive support group that I joined. It saved my sanity and amazingly led to a match. A member of the group knew a boy that was listed on MARE as in need of an adoptive family. He was 11 at the time and she thought we would be a good family for him. We took our chances and looked past the ramblings of the foster family (she was nuts but that too is another story) and a grossly distorted case file and met him. We fell in love. There has been ups and downs and round and rounds. Sometimes he loves us and sometimes he hates us (along with every teenager we know). We finalized the adoption this year. We have watched him go from being listed as cognitively impaired and in complete special education to listed as learning disabled completely mainstreamed. No joke! He will struggle to keep up but the school board thinks it won't be long before he no longer qualifies for an IEP due to his leaps and bounds. It is amazing what a kid can do when someone believes in him, even if he doesn't want you to. Even if he spends 3 hours screaming he hates you and school. It is amazing when he gets an A and looks you in the eye and says "thanks mom". It is so worth it that we went off the deep end. We are now matched and placed with our daughters aged 7 and 11. A sibling group also photo listed on MARE. We will be finalizing the adoption this year. That makes us a family of 7. Yes we are nuts. It can get loud. It can messy but it is so much fun. I hope to share my story with others who think you can't do it because of money constraints or having other kids. I want to show that adopting out of birth order can work. I want to make people laugh.

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