As May and National Foster Care Month come to an end, we wanted to share this story from Lorenzo and Jo Scott, who served as a Home Parent couple at Coyote Hill from 2009 to 2012. They recently finalized their adoption of a teenager from Coyote Hill, Freddy. Lorenzo tells about the process of deciding to adopt an older child, and why they chose to do so.
The trouble with living in a broken world is that it comes with broken people. That is the basis of the adoption/foster care system. However, the world is also blessed to have people with hearts for healing broken families and providing homes to children in need. That is why Jolanda and I got licensed to be foster parents with thoughts of possibly adopting in the future.
After working for two and a half years at Coyote Hill Christian Children’s Home in Harrisburg, MO, Jolanda’s and my passion for ministering to youth grew exponentially. Jolanda knew Freddy from teaching school in Columbia, and I met him when he became a resident of Coyote Hill. Right away, one could tell that Freddy was an energetic, goofy kid longing for family and a place to belong. In February/March of 2015, a few years after we had left Coyote Hill, I was asked to become a mentor for Freddy. He would come to Columbia every couple of weeks and spend hours with our family. We learned a lot about each other. He blended right into our family. Therefore, when the option to adopt him came into play, the decision was an easy one. Sadly, many couples that discover they’re expecting while in the process of fostering/adopting end up deciding not to. Yet after we made the decision and then found out shortly afterwards that we were going to have another baby, Jolanda and I pursued the adoption anyway. In fact, choosing to continue AFTER finding out about the pregnancy helped to cement in Freddy’s mind and heart that he was truly wanted!
Many families hesitate to adopt teenagers. Most couples want the cute little babies and the silly toddlers. Here’s the beauty about adopting a teenager: FREDDY CHOSE US, TOO! Sitting him down to discuss our adoption plans was one of the most meaningful experiences of our lives, because he had the option to choose. Jolanda and I are not perfect. We make mistakes and wrong parenting decisions like anyone else, but he said yes! When one thinks about adoption, it’s easy to praise the adoptive parent/parents for “taking in a broken imperfect child/children,” but imagine the beauty in the child/children saying “Despite your flaws and imperfections, I want you, too!” That’s powerful!
Jolanda and I were blessed to add Freddy as an official part of our family on March 28, 2016. Fortunately for us, the legal process was quite smooth. Freddy transitioned into our home easily, and our three biological children embraced him without question. We’ve seen many ups and downs through this past year, as Freddy continues to learn, grow, and decide what kind of person he wants to be. Ultimately, Jolanda and I love the fact that he can just be a kid! We know not what the future holds, but Freddy knows he is loved and supported. The changes we’ve seen in him are incredibly positive, and we’re proud of him. Freddy is our son; our teenage son that chose us as much as we chose him. He said yes!