Mark Wahlberg has a new movie that is coming out next week, Instant Family. It is about a couple that want to adopt and end up with three older children from foster care.
I will be going to see this movie, I hope it encourages people who want to adopt to go through the foster system and look at older children.
I was one of those older children, I wasn’t in the foster system, but I really was unadoptable by the world’s standard. Most people want babies, they want a child they can raise from infancy to adulthood. Typically older children have been through a pretty rough life and are harder to handle. It takes special people to take on this responsibility.
Older children also live with constant fear that they will be sent back if they are too difficult, which is hard to avoid in teenage years.
Usually there is a pivotal moment when the child realizes no matter what happens they have found their home.
I remember what mine was vividly, it wasn’t too long after I came to live with my parents. About 6 months in, I was sitting in class and someone came and said I was wanted in the Principals office. the whole class said ooooooohhh, of course, I was confused, I didn’t remember doing anything.
I went in and there was the Principal and my birth mother and my oldest birth brother and his wife. I just stood there, I thought oh they just called these people and didn’t want to see me again.
I just knew my life was over, it really would have been, these were not good people.
Unbeknownst to me, the principal had called my parents and the chief of police in Owasso. I wish I could remember his name, because he was incredible.
Just when June (birth mother) was telling me they had come for me, my parents burst through the door.
I instantly knew I was safe, my mom grabbed my hand and pulled me close to her. I knew right then I wasn’t going anywhere and they were not giving me up. My dad proceeded to just speak to June telling her that she had signed the adoption papers (before that I didn’t know that had happened and they were taking legal steps to make me theirs). He told her for once in her life do the right thing for one of her children.
Birth brothers wife then spoke up and she was talking to me and said we have your room ready, it’s your favorite color, yellow.
Yellow! My mom exclaimed, that shows you don’t know her at all, her favorite color is deep red. About that time the chief of police shows up, if any of my Owasso friends read this, please tell me his name.
He took one look at what was going on, he was good friends with my dad and already knew the story of me. He told those people, you have thirty minutes to get out of Owasso. If you ever come back to my town I will not need a reason to arrest you, I will just do it. Do not stop for gas, food or anything else until you hit Tulsa.
They left that day and that was the last time I ever saw birth brother. From what I have heard he is in prison now for multiple crimes. I saw June once more at my grandmother’s funeral.
But in that moment I knew I wasn’t going anywhere and I could be myself. I could fully be Angie and they wouldn’t want to get rid of me.
Adopting an older child is in a way a lot more work than starting with an infant, but it changes that child for the better.
I have said it before, I very literally don’t know what would have happened to me if my parents hadn’t adopted me. I will be going to see the movie and I am positive I am going to cry.
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