All children deserve a loving family to call their own with no expiration date, ESPECIALLY TEENAGERS.
Growing up without a family is an unimaginable pain that no one should have to experience. Yet 20,000 youth exit foster care and are left to fend for themselves each year. These youth have no support systems. Because of this they are left to face challenges such as homelessness, depression, and poverty all on their own. Many of them put on a brave face and act tough using the mentality that what doesn’t kill them will make them stronger. Underneath the surface of that facade, they are just children longing for a place to belong, longing for a place to call home, longing to be loved, and cared for the first time in their life. Every teenager deserves a family with no expiration date.
Teenagers are fun.
Toddlers may come with cute chubby cheeks, but they also come with tantrums, sleep regression, bed wetting, potty training and so much more. Teenagers are fun. They can teach you about the latest music, teach you how to use the latest technology, carry on engaging conversations and make sure you are up to date with the latest fashion trends. Teens will always keep you young, and they will make some lifelong memories while doing it.
Teens are more self-sufficient and can communicate their feelings easier than younger children.
Many teens have the ability to express their wants, needs, feelings, and fears easier than younger children. For the most part, it's not a guessing game. Teens are far more independent than toddlers and can assist in completing tasks around the home. While they do still need guidance and encouragement, many of them have learned to be self-sufficient throughout their time in the foster care system. Teens understand why they are in foster care and why they cannot be safely reunited with their birth family. As teens grow and mature, they begin to not only appreciate the small things but also recognize the importance of having the safety, love and stability that a permanent home can provide.
When adopting a teen, you don’t just get a child, you get a friend.
Teens have the ability to create a strong bond with people that seek to understand them. They are desperately seeking connection. It is in the small mundane family moments that those connections are made, and friendships are formed. Family dinners, movies nights, shopping sprees, inside jokes, and belling laughs are moments taken for granted by many. But those fleeting moments are the memories that our teens cherish for the rest of their life. When you share your life with a teen, you help create a connection, a bond, and a friendship that is not easily broken or forgotten.
Teen can positively impact your life forever if you let them.
While adopting a teenager is an opportunity for you to invest in the future generation, you will be surprised by how much your own life can be impacted by the journey. As you teach life skills, give relationship advice, role play for job interviews, and fill out college applications, you will be challenged with new perspectives and insights. You will be exposed to different lifestyles and traditions. Your patience will strengthen, and your love will grow. You will truly see and understand just how resilient a teenager in foster care can be.
It only takes one person to change a teenager’s life forever. By opening your home to a teenager in need, you could be the one to give them the support and love they need to reach their fullest potential. You can be the one to cheer for their successes and hug them when they fail. You can be the one to encourage them to get an education, to pursue their dreams, and to change the world for the better. You are the one that every teenager needs.