I often fall back on what I learned as a child when life gets tough. I donít do it consciously. It is a part of who I am.



This became really important to me for two reasons. The first being how much I identify who I am as a former Hoosier. I grew up in Indiana until I was a freshman in high school, then we moved to west central Florida, Gulf Coast near Tampa.



There is a dividing line in my memory. Because the event of moving was so traumatic and life-altering, it is easy for me to remember my life by events and location.



I had tough times just like everyone, but my parents were there for me. I never doubted where I belonged. I had siblings to solidify that for me. We argued, shared, fought, laughed, and grew up together.



My background is solid and thanks to Ancestry.com, so is my family history. I understand why I have so many freckles, where my blue eyes came from and why I find myself fighting my weight so often. I saw the photo of the great-aunt I never met who Dad told me I look just like. She was a little on the heavy side.



My parents stood by me during my teen years when I was unpredictable, though not actually b-a-d. My brothers and sisters and I have had good times and bad times. There were days when we were younger that I could have ripped their heads off and other days after we grew up that I missed them so much, I cried.



It is difficult to imagine not belonging to a family. A forever family.



This term has been used a lot when people talk about finding adoptive homes for pets, but it certainly, even more so, applies to kids who are in foster care.



The people on this page have no permanent home. Their parents let them down in some way or perhaps something happened to them. Regardless, they donít have the security and foundation I had, that most of us had.



Their life is on the edge, they are unsure of how long they will be in a home or if the will lose friends when they have to change schools. They may be afraid to bond with an adult, knowing if they develop security, it could go away.



There are as many reasons as there are people, for wanting a permanent home, adoptive parents and a sense of belonging.



For some of us, taking in a child would not work. But for others, it would. Maybe you never considered this as an option. Maybe you should.



I can tell you I have for years. I have reasons for not making it happen yet, just like I am sure you have your reasons.



Iíve always feared if I adopt a child who had a tough life, they might adversely affect my own children. That may be why a lot of people want to adopt babies or younger children.



I had another child when I was 42 years old. I raised four before that and there was 10 years between. I found that caring for my 5th child was a breeze. So much easier. I already knew what to do. I knew what to expect. I knew whether I wanted her in daycare vs a home care situation when I worked. I knew what kind of food I would allow. I knew that purple juice stains carpet and also makes their poop turn bright green. I recognize scarlet fever and believe in vaccinations. I understand the importance of communication and learned to sit on the edge of their bed and LISTEN a long time ago.



Point is, if you are considering adoption, look at the faces on this page and consider a foster child.



Chances are you have what it takes.