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It has been a dream come true...
Laura W., an adoptive parent in Pflugerville, Texas
I am a single mother of an adopted 13-year-old daughter. I have always wanted to adopt but wasn't sure how difficult it would be as a single parent. I attended the orientation at the Child Protective Services office in Austin and signed up for the training classes in the fall of 1997. I completed all the required paperwork by Dec. 31, 1997 and my caseworker found my daughter in January 1998. I went to a presentation staffing of my daughter in February 1998 and she moved into my home in March 1998 as an at-risk legal placement. I was dual licensed at this point until her termination hearing. It was very emotional not having her parental rights terminated, but I had agreed that she would live with me until she was 18 so this would be her last placement. The termination hearing was in September 1998 and the adoption consummated in November 1998.
Looking back, the process was smooth and moved quickly. Going through it did not feel that way. I always thought that she may possibly be returned to her birth family even though her situation did not give me any reason this could be possible. My daughter is a very happy child and has really blossomed since she has been adopted.
It has been a dream come true for her because she never thought anyone would want her because of her age. Besides being behind in her school age reading level, she has no other physical or emotional problems. We have a lot in common such as pets, horses, camping, riding bikes and playing basketball. She has definitely increased my activity level over this past year. Neighbors, friends, my family, and coworkers all enjoy her and have been very supportive about the adoption.
We would like to consider adopting a sibling in the future, but want to take the time to develop our relationship first. We are presently attending family counseling that began when she first moved in.
As a single parent, I have reached out for many areas of support. We also attend the COAC Adoption Support Group. I have used respite care and the Post Adoption Services. The company I work for also has a program to help employees with personal life situations. I received counseling from a licensed family therapist throughout the adoption process who was also a single adoptive mother. Since most of my expenses were reimbursed by the State of Texas, I did not submit for any reimbursement to my company. They offer up to $5,000 towards adoption expenses that are not reimbursed elsewhere. In addition, I submitted items that were not reimbursed by the state with my 1998 IRS Income Tax return with the new Adoption Credits allowed. I believe our adoption has been success because of the support we have sought and received. I could not have done this without it.
Do you have a success story about fostering or adoption? Share it with us!