Beth and Brad Martin were living their normal 9-5 workday life, spending time with friends and enjoying time as a married couple, until 2009 when they first opened their home as a foster family. Soon after opening, they were placed with a baby girl who they later adopted. This initial adoption was followed by 6 more over the next 9 years, transitioning the Martin’s family completely. The Martins have fostered/adopted children from all ages and backgrounds, including teens and sibling groups. Beth Martin speaks about adopting sibling groups, a decision her family made during the foster and adoption process. She says “keeping siblings together helps the kids so much emotionally (think, they’ve lost everything else, at least they have each other!).” Beth is also familiar with adopting teens; she says that teens are “in need of love and security just as much as a little one – they just show it differently.” Sibling groups and teens are groups that are in the most desperate need of a family. Most parents going into the foster care/adoption system want this picture perfect image of adopting a new baby to raise up from a young age, but there is a greater need for people willing to take in groups of siblings or older children and to love them where they are. We asked Beth what surprised her most about fostering and adopting children from foster care. She responded “I think the biggest surprise in adopting, for me, is the long term effects our children must overcome because of a choice their birth parent made.” Another surprise to Beth was “how attachment looks different between adopting infants/toddlers vs older kids/teens.”
The Martins are a real life example of the beauty and blessing that comes from fostering and adopting. There will be challenges and difficulties, but the blessing that comes from the exchange of love between a foster family and their children is worth it all.
Guest Post by Karlee Kindy, Intern with The CALL.