In West Michigan alone, there are 48 waiting children, most over the age of 11, listed on the Michigan Adoption Resource Exchange (MARE). These children will spend the holiday season without family traditions or a permanent place to call home. Many of these children are advocating for themselves by participating in various recruitment activities, in hopes that a family out there will say “yes” to adoption.
“These 48 children show that there aren’t enough families coming forward to adopt older children. If these children are not adopted, they will become adults, and will have had no one to teach them how to be part of a healthy family,” shared Joy Engelsman, Adoption Program Manager at D.A. Blodgett – St. John’s (DABSJ). “We need to help find forever families to show these children what it means to have a family to trust and care for them.”
On November 9 we are inviting families who may have considered older child adoption to come hear about the process. Our Foster Care Information Meeting covers not only traditional foster care, but also highlights the need for families interested in adopting waiting kids to become licensed as foster parents.
“When kids are placed into a home through foster care, we are able to connect families and children to more services that give families a chance to stabilize and acclimate to one another before making the commitment to adopt,” said Joy. These children need families now more than ever. Many of these children have been waiting for a very long time. They deserve more. It doesn’t take anything special to be an adoptive parent to an older child; you just need a heart full of love, passion, and commitment.