Sara F. never expected that she would become a mother of 9 beautiful kids, but that is the path life took her on.
Sara and her partner started their journey to adopt in 2014, with the intent of adopting only one child. In early 2015, they decided to begin fostering while waiting for the adoption process to be finalized. They got their foster license and were placed with a 3-month-old boy in May 2015.
They ended up adopting 4 children through the foster to adopt system.
A Different Plan
They adopted their sons in February 2018 and were able to adopt the boys’ younger biological sister in May 2019. They adopted another in October 2019, and are currently in the process of adopting their foster infants, who are only 1 week and 7 weeks old.
All of our cases were long and drawn-out and emotionally draining…there were many ups and downs since reunification was the plan for all of our children except one.
This is common in the foster system, the main goal of fostering is to reunite children with their biological parents but in some cases that is not possible and adoption becomes an option. It is not an easy process and it is very time-consuming and emotionally challenging.
Once Termination of Parental Rights (TPR) was granted, there were still many delays legally for the foster parents. They had some extremely long cases: their shortest case was 23 months, and their longest lasted 3 years and 7 months.
We were all counting the days until our littles had their new last names.
Sara told us that the days their adoptions were finalized were some of the happiest days of their lives. All the pain, trauma, and hurdles thrown at them were all made worth it when the adoptions were official. So much love and time were put into the adoptions, so it felt extra special when they were able to call it a victory.
Feeling the Love
When adoptions work out after a long and draining process, the wins outweigh the losses and struggles faced.
Sara told us that one of her favorite things about their story is when their four and five-year-olds tell the stories of their placements and adoptions. While all the kids know the details of their stories, these two in particular love showing off their stories.
When telling the story, Sara’s four-year-old tells people,
I didn’t get born from my mommy’s tummy. Another mommy got me out of her tummy. And then I came to this house and I got the mommy I have now. So I have 2 mommies who love me.
Sara is optimistic about the excitement over their adoption stories, while she knows that as the kids age, there may be more stigma and “emotional turmoil related to adoption.”
Sara never imagined being a mother of 9 children but there was a different plan for their family.
They ended up adding 6 children with special needs to their family, all through the foster to adopt system. Sara told us how because of this, she has entered a world that she,
had never been a part of. A world with therapists, Individualized Education Programs (IEP’s), and medications.
Sara’s, and the rest of her family’s, lives have changed forever. There is so much love that comes with having such a large family.
She told us that her ability to handle difficult situations has increased greatly, along with her capacity to love. She and her partner love 9 children unconditionally. Their love has only grown with each day.
It is amazing how different each of my children is…and how incredibly deep my love is for each of them! I am a much better person because all of these precious people are in my life.
Sara shared a list of advice for people who are choosing to foster to adopt. This list includes:
- Be prepared for anything
- Know your limits and stick to them
- Find a support group (whether it’s an actual group or a group of friends who understand) and hold tight
- Stay organized, take notes
- Never give caseworkers your original paperwork
- Find someone in your agency who you can trust and can be your “go to” person for questions, resources, etc
- Self-care! You need to be a priority too!
Thank you, Sara, for the great and detailed advice on how to foster to adopt. We are so glad to hear about your beautiful family. Thank you for sharing this amazing story.
If you have any questions about fostering or adopting, check out great resources HERE.