Domestic Adoption is Possible Through Foster Care
Domestic adoption is often viewed as costly and complicated. But through foster care, a domestic adoption is possible and free in almost all 50 states.
Today we chat with Allison Vick Spillman about how she grew her family with domestic adoption through foster care.
Q. When did You Start Your Adoption Journey?
A. My husband and I have always talked about adoption as a possibility for our family but didn’t seriously consider it until after we had 3 biological children (through fertility treatments). We knew we wanted to grow our family and I desperately wanted a girl so we started exploring adoption.
We set out with the goal of fostering to adopt and started our classes in February 2016. Initially we only wanted to adopt one child but in the class that talked about siblings we learned that nearly 80% of kids in the foster system are part of a sibling group and most are separated we knew we wanted to siblings. We were licensed to adopt in Oct 2016 and our sweet brother and sister sibling group were placed with us in July 2017.
Q. When was Your Official Adoption Date?
A. Our adoption was finalized on May 17, 2018. It was one of the most memorable and happiest days of our life.
Q. Please Tell Us More About Your Domestic Adoption Experience
A. Adopting through the foster system has been, by far, the most rewarding and most challenging experience of our lives. Our kids were in a neglectful bio home and then bounced around to 7 different homes. (Some, unfortunately, more abusive and neglectful than where they came from) before they landed with us.
Trauma is real and it is long-lasting. Our son was 4 years old when he came home with us and at the time we were told he didn’t have any issues other than a small speech delay. In reality, he has since been diagnosed with PTSD, extreme anxiety, and developmental delays. He had not been receiving any therapies prior to coming to us and we had to fight to get him what he needed and deserved. Although he still has a long way to go, he has come SO FAR. He knows that he is safe and loved and in his forever home. We fight every single day to make sure he and his sister get the life they deserve. They were the missing link in our family and the day they were adopted our family was officially complete.
Q. What is the Best Experience You’ve had Through This Process?
A. How do I pick the “best experience” in the adoption? These are my babies and they were waiting for me to find them. When I hear them tell us or their siblings how much they love us my heart explodes. My son is THE BEST HUGGER. And my daughter is such a bright light in this world. She finds joy in everything. People tell us how all the time how lucky they are to be adopted by us. The truth is we are lucky ones.
Q. How has Your Life Changed Since You Started this Journey?
A. Life has changed drastically since starting this journey. Most notably because we went from 3 to 5 kids overnight. We are now a “big family” and I wouldn’t change a thing. Our home is loud and crazy and chaotic and it’s amazing. Our son and daughter have taught us all so much about love and acceptance and challenges and these kids have forced me to be a better mom because they deserve the very best.
Q. Any Advice You’d like to Share with People Choosing to Adopt?
A. My husband I are very transparent and honest about the good, the bad, and the ugly areas of adoption. It is not for the faint of heart and requires a strength and determination that you probably aren’t sure you have.
The first thing I would say is to make sure you have a solid foundation in your home life. Is your marriage strong? Are your other kids prepared (as much as they can be) and on the same page? Adopting from the foster system will disrupt your life but once you come up to breathe you will realize it is the best thing you can do.
If you are interested in exploring foster to adopt, I would encourage you to talk to people who have done it and ask the tough questions. Expect the unexpected. Expect to be frustrated and angry. But most importantly, expect to experience a love like no other.
In conclusion, we would like to thank Allison Vick Spillman for sharing her family’s story about their domestic adoption through foster care. Our hearts are filled with joy knowing that families like the Spillmans are out there.
If you are interested in learning more about the cost of adoption, check out our adoption calculator here.