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From “For Now” to Forever: My Family’s Foster-to-Adoption Story

One of the most special things about the extendedReach team is that we are not just clocking in for a day job. Our team consists of a foster dad, former and current social workers, adoptive parents, and others with experience in family services. The extendedReach team has been in the trenches: we know the struggles that social workers, foster families, case managers, and admins face first-hand. 
 
In celebration of National Adoption Month and Day, I wanted to share my experience as a foster-to-adopt parent.
 

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In 2007, I was ending my employment with Kaleidacare (which went on to become KCare, extendedReach’s parent company) to start the foster-to-adopt process with a child placement agency in Austin, Texas. My son, Robert, was almost 3 years old and his biological parent’s rights had just been terminated, meaning he was eligible for adoption! I had to become a trauma-informed expert to learn how to parent my “scared out of his mind” child. We found our rhythm eventually. 

He just turned 18 in June and what a ride it’s been! I always encourage other foster or adoptive parents to get their hands on some books on how to parent children with trauma. Unlearning and relearning which parenting strategies work best for these kiddos takes a lot of time and practice! We also did neurofeedback with Robert. I’m such a huge advocate of this non-invasive approach to calming the actual brain and allowing it to regulate the body. We still have a way to go in Robert’s healing and development catch-up, but it happens in his own time, not mine. 

This adoption experience has been so helpful as I implement new agencies and set up their extendedReach systems. The fact that I have gone through the process of getting licensed, filling out forms, and following the requirements of the agency makes all the difference in the help I can provide our customers. As a social worker, I’ve worked now on the agency side and the foster parent side, and it has really allowed me to have a well-rounded understanding of foster care and adoption. 

National Adoption Day is on November 19, 2022, but for extendedReach (and for my family), it is every day! 

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