Jazmine, 14 year old who was adopted by Kim and Tim today in DCF’s SunCoast Region:
It feels GREAT to finally have a family. Mr. Tim and Mrs. Kim are nice and kind to me. I finally have someone who will be there for me, like at my school activities and all.
I didn’t like being in foster care. I was moved a lot, couldn’t keep friends and was always going to a different school. The hardest part has been other adoptions not working out and being in foster care so long. I didn’t really trust that this one would work out.
I would encourage other teens to not give up and to keep hoping and dreaming of a forever family. I hope all of them have a chance to be adopted and have a great family too.
Kim, who adopted Jasmine today:
We have felt for several years a call to adopt. We don’t really know why, other than God placing that on our hearts. We have also been called to adopt an older child who has been in foster care for awhile.
I saw Jazmine’s profile on the Pinellas/Pasco Heart Gallery first, and then on the state’s website. I felt an instant draw to this child, but it would be more than a year later before we were finally able to pursue finding out about her. There were challenges since she was out of our county. We had a private adoption home study done through Adoption Home Study Services. As soon as this was completed we forwarded to the adoption specialist at Eckerd.
We were very nervous the first time we met her. The case manager had warned us she was a little jaded towards adoption and so we kind of did a “blind” meeting. Jazmine did look like a deer in the headlights when she spotted us with her case manager. She chose to ignore us at the beginning. About mid-way through the visit she started warming up to us and even allowed my husband to hold her Chuck E. Cheese tokens while she played a game. By the end of the visit she was interacting with us, but still a little guarded. On the way home we were still nervous –what if she thinks we’re too old, what if she refuses to see us again, what if she doesn’t like us? We knew in our hearts she was our daughter and we were hoping and praying she would feel the same way eventually.
On the second visit she was excited to see us and jumped from the car with colored pictures for us and her Heart Gallery pictures! Priceless!!
At a doctor’s visit, the nurse asked her what she calls me. Jazmine responded, “Mrs. Kim because the adoption’s not final yet.” It really caught my attention and I said, “So that’s what you’re waiting on,” and she responded simply, “Yes!” I knew I would do what I could to make this child understand unconditional love, safety and security. It also gave me a better idea as to why she acted a little weird when people she was very familiar with, like her case manager and therapist, came to visit in our home. She was so used to people coming and removing her that she had that continual fear that was the reason they were coming now. I then began telling her before they came the reason for the visit and assuring her no one was coming to move her anywhere else. I also told her she experienced her last move when she came to live with us and any future moves would be her decisions when she got older to live on her own or go to college.
We feel so honored to be Jazmine’s parents. We have typical teen behavior but she is responding very well to structure and consistency. We’re so glad she accepted us as her parents and forever family.
For more information about adoption and children available for adoption in Florida, visit www.adoptflorida.org or call 1-800-962-3678.