A Forever Home
According to teh U.S. Department of Health and Human ResourcesL Administration for Children and Families, as of September 30, 2011, the mean age of children placed in homes of non-relateives was 9.3 years. The average age of children and youth adopted out of the forster care system is 9.4 years. The report numbers suggest that if a child is not adoped by the time they reach the age of eight or nine their chance of being adopted is cut in half.
Children coming from a past of neglect and/or abuse and then foster care are children who, for the most of their life, have never been able to rely on anyone but themselves for comfort and guidance when navigating the adult world. This fact leads to the misconception that the longer a child is in foster care and the oler the child is, the less likely it is that that child will every be able to bond with an adult or ever come to terms with their past.
A pesron has to be shown how to accept and trust in the kindness of others. Studies within this past year have found increasing evidence of neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity is to undersatnd the brain not as a static organ but instead able to rewire and remain plastic throughout adulthood. The neuroplasticity research suggests that it is never too late for a person to learn that they do not have to live in isolation without a supportive netowrk that geniunely cares about them. Older youth are capable of learning to connect in healthy and fulfilling ways with others. Older child adtion can work.
When the state grants an adult(s) legal guardianship of a minor the exact wording of the contract is: " You understand it is as if this child were born to you." These words recognize a very concrete bond between people that will span every generation thereafter who is related to those individuals.
The family of two, a mother and daughter, has made acceptance and respect for their unshared past the foundation of their relationship. Prior to becoming a family, the girl was a foster child coming from a past of neglect and physical abuse. The woman continues to process the sudden loss of a beloved family member. From these adverse pasts experiences, each of them arrives - mutual understanding and protective of the sence of home they have created for one another as a family.