The Lasting Impact of Adoption

Posted on November 25th, 2019

Pondering over the many cases Advocate John Hart has had over the past two years and the numerous children he has assisted during that time, his mind cannot help but wander to two special little girls. He pictures six-year-old Isabella playing happily with her seven-year-old sister, Mary Anne, in the front yard of their Aunt’s home. Their uncle comes racing outside, picks the girls up and swings them both around until everyone is in a fit of laughter.

The girls’ current happiness temporarily overpowers the memory of the hotel they used to live in with their parents. The mental picture of their intoxicated parents passed out on the floor begins to fade, taking backseat in their minds and making room for the possibility of happier memories in the comfort of their adoptive home.

After two long years, Isabella and Mary Anne’s child welfare case is finally closed. Their temporary placement with their aunt and uncle transformed into a permanent adoption, allowing Izzy and Mary to experience a sense of stability they have never known.

According to the United States Children’s Bureau, an average of 63,000 children in the public child welfare system were adopted last year with another 125,000 waiting to be adopted. While family reunification is ideal when possible, it is not always in the best interest of the child. This was the case for Isabella and Mary Anne.

“Mom and dad struggled with maintaining sobriety and providing stable housing. They were both incarcerated throughout the duration of the case, but Dad got out and earned visitation over time,” Hart explains. “But he wasn’t fully capable of providing adequate care for both of the girls.”

These circumstances made reunification an impossibility, meaning a safe and stable home would need to be found elsewhere. Luckily, the girls’ aunt and uncle were more than happy to permanently welcome the children into their home.

“They were able to offer emotional support and a stable home to the girls when their parents couldn’t,” Hart says.

He explains that while the children struggled with the initial removal, they both received therapy and were able to visit with their father. Today, both girls are happy, healthy, and performing well in school.

John Hart’s court advocate supervisor, Earl Hollowell, agrees with Hart concerning the overall significance of adoption, saying, “Adoption is important because it provides children with a sense of permanency so they don’t have to worry about things like where their next meal is coming from… they can just worry about being a kid.”

While the process can sometimes be difficult, the act of opening one’s home and heart to a child in need of love and support is nothing short of incredible.

In honor of National Adoption Month and on behalf of the many children now experiencing the true love and comfort of a supportive home, Child Advocates thanks you!