Helping All Kids Have Loving Homes

Home for the holidays. The theme is everywhere this time of year – with images of happyfamilies gathered around holiday celebrations, making memories and enjoying the magic of the

Home. Family. So many of us are lucky to have these in our lives. But the sad reality is that there are many children in foster care who have never experienced the joy of a safe, loving and secure home. This holiday season, SAFY of Kentucky is working to raise awareness about the need for foster and adoptive parents in Louisville and throughout our state.

In Louisville, there are 1,232 children in foster care, and of those, around 30 percent have a goal of adoption. Over half of these youth are over the age of 12, and most are part of a sibling group. Though younger children are often adopted relatively quickly, adoption rates drastically decrease for older youth. Nationally, only 5 percent of all children adopted in 2017 were 15-18 years old.

Children enter foster care through no fault of their own, but as unintended victims of the opioid epidemic, parental incarceration, mental illness and more. Many times, children in foster care are able to return to their birth families, and SAFY works to support this transition. When that is not an option, SAFY helps youth find forever families through adoption.

Perhaps you're wondering why raising awareness about fostering and adoption is important to me.  Many of you know that Ricky and I have 4 children. I've written very openly before about our journey through secondary infertility and miscarriage. But what you may not know is that after my second miscarriage in 2012, we considered adoption.

As parents of a child with a rare congenital birth defect, I have become painfully aware that babies with special medical needs are often given up at birth. These babies are put into foster care and usually spend years in the system awaiting someone to make them a part of their family. We connected with a few adoption agencies and began the process of researching our options. After inquiring about the adoption process, we also reached out to my husbands employer to make sure that adding another child with complex medical needs would be covered by our insurance.

I spent hours pouring over the photos of these abandoned children - some who were as old as 10 and rapidly approaching aging out of the system. I sobbed for each one that was not chosen and rejoiced for those that found their forever homes. We prayed about it and before we made our decision, I became pregnant. We welcomed baby boy #3 and just a little more than a year later, #4. Needless to say our adoption journey was put on hold indefinitely.

That's not to say that we do not think about it from time to time. My heart continues to ache for all the children who wait for their forever home. I still click the links and read the stories of the kids who seem to have been forgotten and pray all the time for loving families to scoop them up and make them theirs.

Youth in foster care need what all kids deserve – a loving, safe and permanent family who will be there not just for the holidays, but for all life’s milestones. If you have ever considered fostering and/or adoption, I urge you to take that first step. Get involved! I have never heard any families say it wasn't worth it.

This post was written in partnership with Specialized Alternatives for Families and Youth (SAFY). SAFY is a child and family nonprofit preserving families and securing futures through a model of care that includes therapeutic foster care, adoption, family preservation, behavioral health and supports for older youth. To learn more about becoming a foster or adoptive parent, visit or call 502-813-8280. You can also follow SAFY on social media at: and

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