By Robyn Oldenburg
Robyn Oldenburg, of Washington, adopted her daughter, Winter, through the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption’s signature program, Wendy’s Wonderful Kids. Robyn says when she learned of the need for teenagers to be adopted, she was moved to action.
Winter was in foster care for nine years before she came home to me. The first time my daughter, Nasia, and I saw Winter, we knew that she was meant to be a part of our family.
Winter lived with us for about a year before her adoption finalized on the day after her 13th birthday. I’m so thankful that Winter’s Wendy’s Wonderful Kids adoption recruiter, Karen, was there to help us navigate the process.
Winter had been given up so many times. It was a huge hurdle for her to trust that I was not going to leave her. It will take time for Winter to feel secure, but she knows that I love her more than anything.
One of the biggest changes that I’ve noticed in Winter’s behavior is her ability to give up control and allow me to be her mom. For so many years, she had to fend for herself and be her own advocate. Now, she has me to protect her and raise her up when she is feeling low. She can be a child, I will be the adult.
Winter says that she knew she was with the right
family, because she finally felt at peace. She didn’t feel anxious, sad or mad. She felt calm and relaxed, like she was home.
To anyone considering foster care adoption, I hope you’ll consider adopting a teenager. It’s easy to adopt a baby and guide their life from the start, but teenagers need love, too. Love them harder. Love them no matter what. Don’t give up on them.