A 16 years old young girl meets a new mam after 3739 days in 24 fostet cares

Every child deserves and needs a safe life including protected from abuse and neglect, and foster parents offer children support and stability when they need it most. Life in foster care is extremely challenging. They may or may not have any contact with their biological family. Even those who have contact with their birth families may not be able to get the support and encouragement. If they were raised in an institution, moved from house to house or have lived with a foster family, they may feel that they have nowhere to turn and no one to reach out to.

Maybe you can’t change the whole world, but you can change the whole world of a child in foster care. It is more than that to help children and teenagers in need of a loving and stable home. It also improves families and communities in many ways and can make your life richer as well.

It is sadly true that many children and adolescents spend years of their lives in foster care without their own family.

According to the National Foster Youth Institute, over 23,000 children age out of the foster care system each year in the United States. What’s so bad about turning 18 and no longer eligible for foster care? These young adults will face many adversities and their lives will not be just the same as other youngers.

A girl named Akyra has spent 10 years or 3,739 days moving from one family to another. As she reached 16 and changed 24 families. Akyra feared she would become one of these tragic statistics and she would be forced into homelessness.

She finally met Katie Holstein, a single mother from Kentucky who had fostered 16 kids since 2017.

She writes in an article that she did for Love What Matters, “I started the process to become licensed as a foster parent in January of 2017. I wanted to be a mom, and I was tired of waiting around for Mr. Right to make it happen.”

“I figured I would foster for several years, help reunite some families, and maybe eventually get to say yes to forever.”

Katie had never fostered a child older than six, but Katie’s story doesn’t end here. Because while she was fostering Tiny, another girl came into her home.

She received a special call on March 9, 2019, from her favorite social worker. She said, ‘I know you don’t do teens, but I have this girl. She’s great, her and her current foster family just need a break. What about just for the weekend?’”

Katie agreed to welcome Akyra into her home for a week. At the time, Katie was fostering five kids all under the age of five and couldn’t possibly to take Akyra. Akyra or Okra as Katie calls her ended up staying with Katie for a week and a few other short breaks until her placement ended.

However, Katie allowed her to spend as much time as possible with her, knowing how important it was for the teen to have a place while at high school.

Credit: instagram.com/katie_irlene/

Around a year after they first met Katie and Okra, Okra asked her how she felt about adopting a teen.

“I think that was an important moment for her, because that decision came completely from her. After so many years of having no control over where she lived, she got a say in what she wanted.”

Three days before turning 17, Katie adopted Akra or Okra officially.

Credit: instagram.com/katie_irlene/

The adoption ceremony was held via the Zoom. It wasn’t just Akyra, but the single mom also adopted Thomas, or Tiny, a 1 year old who Katie had looked after since he was 6 days old.

Katie feels so blessed that Akyra chose her to be her new mom.

“Even though she’s been in foster care for so long only to be disappointed, she took a chance on me and my family and let herself be loved again.

“She’s got a lot of her own life experiences and opinions and I respect that, I’m not a domineering mom. It was a learning curve for us both, and we’re still learning now, but it’s worth it.”

Like all children, a child in foster care has one true wish and one real desire, more than possibly anything else, and that is to be loved. They want to be loved, and they need to be loved. After all, every child deserves to be loved.

There’s no better gift you can give to a child or teenager than a loving family and a stable home.