Meet Kelly, 29 year old Young Adoptive Mother to her teenage daughter. Read as she shares her story in her own words.
I was 27 and in my first year of teaching. Half way through the school year, in January, I had a student join my class. I had my first encounter with foster care/ a foster child when we held a meeting with her foster mom and case worker. I had never really considered it until meeting her. I had always dreamed about doing frozen embryo adoption. Her and I grew closer and the more I got to know her, the more I researched foster care. I told her one day “guess what I did this weekend? I requested information to become a foster parent!”
She had the biggest smile and said “it’s really hard, but you’d be the best mama”
I had ZERO intentions of fostering a teenager. My thoughts were 6-10. As a teacher, having a child in school just made more sense to me. I also had a 13 year old brother at the time, and my student was 14. I thought it would be too much like a “sister” relationship.
By March, she was staying after for extra help, asking me questions about what kind of kid I would want to foster. As I was walking her to her foster mom’s car, she said “can you adopt me? I only want to be adopted by a special person, and I feel that person is you”
We had a conversation the previous week about her NOT wanting to be adopted and she told me about some of her past.
As I was in the beginning stages of becoming licensed to foster, I didn’t know how it all worked, so I couldn’t tell her yes or no.
She had written me a few letters, that I showed her case worker and told her about the adoption conversation. The case worker was thrilled she had connected with someone and assured me that once I was licensed (my student told me about her therapeutic agency, so I became licensed through them!) she would be moved with me.
There were several times the case worker would call me to have her talk to me to calm her down. When she disrupted placement, she was moved to a temporary home and new school. The case worker and foster mom arranged for us to see each other for a day. The foster mom even invited me over for dinner to see her.
I received a text at 3:30pm on Friday May 12, 2017 asking if I could pick her up at 4:30pm. My life changed in that moment. As my students left for the weekend, I was about to become a mom! It was also Mother’s Day weekend, so it was extra special.
She was in disbelief when she saw me. She was told she was moving, but didn’t know it would be with me. She packed very quickly and we were headed home. She’s been on the go ever since.
I don’t think there was much of a honeymoon period. We clicked immediately and it was like she had always been in my life. I had a month to plan a 15th birthday party. My students at school were incredibly confused when she would call me mom (as many of my students do), and they found out she lived with me. Even students in the school I didn’t know, that were her friends, they were in shock. It’s still fun, almost 2 years later hearing the kids say “she’s your daughter?! I didn’t know that!”
We have most definitely had our ups and downs, but never once have I questioned whether it was the right choice.
We finalized the adoption June 29th 2018. Two days after she turned 16. She tested my love, in every way possible. She tried so many times to get me to give up. I was her 11th home in almost 8 years.
She has come SO far! And of course, is still learning. She’s even gone as far as calling me her best friend. Parents usually know best, which she’s slowly figuring out.
I can’t imagine my life without her. Our story feels like a movie every time I tell it. I look at her even when I’m angry and can’t help but love her. Our bond is indescribable and at 29 years old, I’m proud to be the mom of a 16 year old.