Thursday, October 27, 2022

When Adoption Ignites Hope in an Older Child

IMG_9795.JPGAt the age of eight, young Jamie had a hard time seeing beyond her day-to-day. While in the foster care system, she and her siblings worried, at times, about where their next meal would come from. Even at a young age, she had little hope she would graduate from high school. When she turned 10, her life took a sudden turn. It was then that James and Tammy ignited hope in her. 

James and Tammy turned to adoption after struggling through 20 years of failed pregnancies and unsuccessful fertility treatments. Upon connecting with The Barker Adoption Foundation, Tammy said they immediately felt comfortable with their decision to adopt. “This is where we're going to do this; this is where we're going to find our family.

The family could feel Barker right alongside them throughout the entire process. “Barker exceeded all of our expectations. They really listened to us, they didn’t judge, and they were all very understanding. Their matching Jamie to our family was completely on point. They were very accommodating and flexible based on our family and knew that we could meet her needs. Barker has always been there for us when we needed them and for Jamie too. We can’t imagine working with any other agency to prepare for our adoption and know we will be supported for a lifetime.”jamie in front of barker.JPG

Believing that “we never felt our work was done once the adoption was over” and wanting to help other foster children and families, Tammy, James, and Jamie have participated in many Barker events over the last ten years and continue to do so. “We will put out as much effort as needed. It is a gift that we can give to Barker and prospective families.” They have spoken at the pre-adoption training for other parents, Project Wait No Longer (PWNL) Information Meetings, met 1-on-1 with prospective families, and have spoken at Barker’s Annual Adoption and Foster Care Conference, where “Jamie took the mic, in front of 60-80 adults, and comfortably spoke about her viewpoint, which was so important for the adults to hear and very therapeutic for Jamie. I never would or could make her do anything. That was all her!

A decade after Jamie was welcomed home, she is now in college, studying criminal justice, and hopes to become an investigator of crimes against foster children. She says this became her passion because two people chose her and gave her the hope she needed. For James and Tammy, the adoption meant more than finally having the titles of mom and dad. “It's not just a matter of giving people like Tammy and me the opportunity to start a family. It's giving Jamie an opportunity to change the entire course of her life. So, the return on investment is a future for a human being. I mean, what better investment can you make?”

anderson 2021.JPGThank you to the Anderson family for sharing their story and their time to support Barker's mission and other prospective parents on their adoption journey!

Exploring Adopting from Foster Care?

Barker's Project Wait No Longer can help you expand your family if you are exploring older child adoption. Learn more about our program by visiting our program page, attending a free older child information meeting, or calling our office to speak with an adoption specialist today! Parenting an older child may have its challenges, but the rewards are even greater! 

Other Ways to Help Youth in Foster Care

Adopting an older child may not be a good fit for everyone; however, there are ways that everyone can help the 100,000+ children who are waiting in the foster care system. You can help by connecting our PWNL staff with your local house of worship (church, temple, mosque, etc.), your community groups (support groups, Rotary Clubs, fraternities, book clubs, P.T.A. groups, etc.), or your workplace to share information about older-child adoption. Donate to Barker. Donations and grants primarily subsidize the cost of running P.W.N.L. Your donation will go a long way toward helping a waiting child experience a permanent and loving family. Donate Now

Barker Staff