Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Kristin's Story

Ever wondered what an Adoption Saturday event is like? For today's story in our National Adoption Month series, Kristin shares a beautiful inside look at this very special day for children and families and what it means to be a foster and adoptive parent.

Kristin's story

"November is National Adoption Month.  Seems that nearly every month, week and day has an issue or cause associated with it.  After a while, all of these days seem to blend together, but National Adoption Month means something special to our family and it could mean something special to your family, too.  Two years ago on National Adoption Day, we adopted our daughter through the foster care system. 
On that November morning, my husband and I gathered up our daughter, and our daughter-to-be and headed to the courthouse to officially become what we had been in our hearts for a long time – a family of four!  It was a joyous day for us and the nearly 50 family members and friends, from Phoenix to Des Moines, and from ages 1 to 91, who gathered in the courthouse.  We were ushered to the courtroom and our family and friends filed into the courtroom seats, while the four of us and the attorneys sat where the prosecutor and defendant usually sit.  

Both my husband and I got to take the stand, be sworn in and take an oath to love, support and care for our newest daughter.  It was a powerful moment.  We got to announce to the world our commitment with family and friends there showing love and support.  The courtroom was decorated with hundreds of beanie babies and our judge (who happened to be an Appellate Court Judge) was visually moved by the experience of being the part of our adoption – many of us were.   
People often ask me about being a foster parent.  Has it been challenging? Sure it has.  Has it been fun? Yes.  Frustrating? Sometimes.  Rewarding? You bet!  A learning opportunity?  Yep.  Disappointing? At times.  But that is life…right?  Full of ups, downs and in-betweens.  But the good has far outweighed the bad.  I have a much better understanding and perspective of the challenges and barriers faced by families of all sorts, more compassion and empathy for difficult circumstances and missed opportunities, more gratitude and appreciation for my family, and plenty of love in my heart to share.  

We've received many blessings from being a foster and adoptive family.  If you have an open heart and mind, I hope you will consider becoming a foster or adoptive family.  Children and families could use your support and you will have opportunities to learn and grow beyond what you have imagined.

-Kristin (Foster and adoptive parent with Tom, and Mom to Allie and Jenny)

Thanks to Kristin for sharing such a powerful reflection! For those of you in Cedar Rapids, you can hear more foster care and adoption stories tonight at the Cedar Rapids candlelight ceremony. Time and place here!


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