By Michelle Renaud, Windsor, Ontario
My husband, Scott, and I knew we wanted to expand our family. We have so much fun together and love each other so much. But we had more love to give, and we wanted a child to share in the fun.
We met our son, Colton, through the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption’s Wendy’s Wonderful Kids program. His adoption recruiter, Darcy, walked us through the process every step of the way. We knew it wasn’t going to be easy. Our son had been in foster care for 10 years. He was 10 years old when he came to live with us, and he had opinions, thoughts and ideas. He wanted and needed to be heard.
The first time we met Colton we were so nervous. We really wanted him to be comfortable with us. After a few visits, he was so happy to see us. That was such a great feeling. Once the visits became regular, we asked Colton if he would like to move into our home.
The first few months were challenging. We had to be understanding of what a huge adjustment this transition was for Colton. We had to remind ourselves every day to be calm and understanding. We knew Colton was frustrated and that his feelings were beyond the typical transitional feelings that children can have when they move into a new family. He asked for help, and we got it for him. What a change that extra support has made.
Since then, I can’t describe how much Colton has grown. He needed help with independence and accomplishing tasks on his own, but with time, he began to flourish. He is learning how to handle stress and cope when things are not done “his way.”
“Adopting ONE child won’t change the world, but for that child, the world will change. It’s our family’s motto.”
Foster care adoption is not an easy road. But to anyone thinking of taking this journey, I would say, be ready for some challenges at the start, but do not give up. These wonderful kids just want to know that you love them and will always be there for them. They just want stability and caring parents.
When you see them blossom and connect with the family and new friends, it is the greatest feeling in the world. It took three years from the time Colton moved into our home until the day we finalized his adoption, but he has been a member of our family since day one.
The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption’s Wendy’s Wonderful Kids program provides grants to adoption agencies to hire and train recruiters in our Child-Focused Recruitment Model to find loving, permanent homes for the nearly 155,000 children waiting in foster care across the United States and Canada. The model is up to three times more effective at serving youth who have been in foster care the longest. Learn more
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