Guest post by Ashley Rhodes-Courter, MSW, is the New York Times Bestselling Author of the memoir, “Three Little Words.” She and her husband, Erick, have cared for nearly 20 children and are now adoptive parents.
By the age of 12, I had already been in 14 placements and had spent nearly 10 years in foster care. Finally a family stepped forward to adopt me and give me the unconditional love I craved. Today that circle of love is complete: Almost exactly 16 years since I moved in with my forever family, my husband and I are adopting one of our own foster children.
I am also keeping a promise I made to myself to become the caregiver I had always wanted for myself and the parent every child needs—and deserves. We finally get to affirm what our hearts already knew: Skyler is our son. We are making a forever commitment to this amazing little boy and will dedicate our lives to ensuring he never has one day of abuse, neglect, loneliness or fear in his future.
Children, by no fault of their own, come into foster care for a variety of reasons. Not all are able to return to their biological families. As we celebrate our new addition, we are mindful that there are more than 100,000 children in the United States still waiting to be adopted. There is always a way to give back and become involved. I was nearly a teenager when a family was brave enough to love and take me in all those years ago, and I now have the chance to do the same for another child.