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

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 www.momatlast.com


We Believe in Adoption

Category: Families and adoptees

APO, FL

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: www.becauseofisaac.org 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.


Washington Family Story

Category: Families and adoptees

KENNEWICK , WA

At the young age of 21 and 22, we adopted our two boys who were ages 6 and 9 at the time. They are our everything. We feel like they were here from birth, the transition and adjustment as a family was quick and wonderful. We are now approaching the adoption of our three year old foster daughter this National Adoption Day. I encourage others to see that these children need a forever home.


Category: Families and adoptees

San Marcos , CA


Kathryn R.

Category: Families and adoptees

Mokena, IL

I was born 4th in a family where my father was rarely home because of work, and my mother was mentally unstable. My oldest sister was given up for adoption at birth, and my 2nd oldest sister, who was 7 when I was born, was left to practically raise myself, and my sister who is 1 year older than I. We were severly neglected, and eventually taken away at ages 3, 4, and 11.

We were placed in the same foster home, then separated when the foster parents couldn't care for 3 kids. My sister (the 1 year older one) and I were placed in a different home. Eventually, all 3 of us ended up in a home for girls, where we lived for a few years.

Throughout that time, we went on weekly visits with our birth parents. When they lost their parental rights, we met our new parents. Months later, we got to go home for good.

The one day of this entire process I have memorized is the day of our adoption. My sister and I were 12 and 13, and dressed in our Sunday best at the courthouse. We had our hair and nails done and everything. After the judge and social workers talked with both sets of our parents, the judge asked us, "Would you like to be adopted?" My sister and I enthusiastically screamed "Yes!" We had finally found a permanent home and family.

It took me years to realize that my story is what made me a stronger person in life. I may never get answers from my birth parents about what exactly happened, but I am at peace with that. I love them and my adoptive family unconditionally. If I hadn't lived my past, I would probably not be determined to make foster care a better system, or have made it my life's mission to promote foster care adoption. The people that I was surrounded by throughout the entire process made me who I am, and I am eternally grateful for the sacrifices they made to get me here today.

To the children waiting for a forever home: Never give up. Never stop hoping. You have seen what you have seen for a reason. You are strong, and I encourage you to be proud of your story. There are so many people who love you and think about you everyday, myself included. You can make something of yourself. You can make the world a better place.

To those thinking about foster care adoption: These children are in need of so much love and a permanent home. You can change a child's life.


Category: Families and adoptees

Orlando, FL


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