Two of our readers have adopted five children each—and counting. Here’s Kristina:
Since I was a teenager, I wanted to be a foster parent some day. I have fostered around 15 children and adopted 5. I currently have my 5, plus 2 foster children.
I have never given birth, never wanted to, and never plan to. I built a wonderful family, through the sad loss of other families. It’s difficult to celebrate sometimes, knowing the loss each child and their family endured to bring them to me.
My children are all from local families, within my own city. They came from families with mental, emotional, and substance problems, and the illnesses that made their first parents unable to care for them are part of a bigger social problem that is taking over our country. We are disconnected. As a society, we are too disconnected. Drug and alcohol addiction is a symptom of this every increasing disconnect.
As I was granted my most recent adoption and sat with my son’s birth father, seeing how ill he was, all I felt was concern, caring, worry. I worried that this man would not get better. I worried that we would be attending his funeral long before their grandparents. This man was not a bad person. He was just sick. I hugged him. I thanked his mother. I told them I hoped he got better soon. I meant every word. Their willingness to not fight our adoption allowed me to spend the rest of their lives being the boy’s mother.
My son walked in the day after the papers were signed and said, “I’m YOUR son, mom.”
We celebrate daily in our own little ways, but I must never forget the loss that brought my children to me. It keeps me grounded. It keeps me humble. It gives me grace.
Here’s the other saint, Leslie:
We have adopted five kids (only two biologically related to each other) from foster care, at ages ranging from 8 to 14. They are now 25 to almost 47, and the older four are all functioning adult members of society, maintaining relationships, holding jobs, and raising their own kids—outcomes they assure me have a lot to do with having been adopted by us. All of them have some degree of fetal alcohol issues, as well as histories of abuse, neglect, and, in one case, a previous failed adoption.