This mom chooses teens, not babies, to adopt | Local News
See the injury
Too often, Lewis said, teens “carry the misconceptions we’ve given them.” People expect teens in foster care to “form themselves” regardless of why they might act.
Each year, around 20,000 adolescents nationwide are released from the foster care system, he said.
“If you start to see them in terms of development and trauma and grief, it really changes who they are,” he said.
Raytheon Engineer Apache Sanders can attest to this.
Sanders was volunteering with students in the Tucson Unified School District through the National Society of Black Engineers when she met her future daughter, Dimon, then 13.
Dimon had been in foster care since the age of 9 and was eligible for adoption. Apache and her husband, Joshua, hoped to adopt. The match seemed obvious, but even so, their first conversations weren’t easy.
“I could tell she had been very hurt and had been vigilant,” Sanders said of those first few days together in December 2013. “She was looking at me out of the corner of her eye, wondering: ” What is the problem? What’s the catch? ‘ “
Sanders took Dimon out to dinner so they could talk more, but Dimon barely spoke. Sanders later said his daughter told him she couldn’t believe Sanders cared about her and kept wondering, ‘Why the hell would anyone want to adopt a teenager when he could adopt. a small child or a baby? “
During the holidays that year, Sanders and her husband picked up Dimon daily from the emergency shelter and took her to their home, where she met their biological son, Joshua Jr. These weeks have changed everything. By April, the foster home training was over and Dimon was living with them. In October, she was legally their child.