MISSOULA - November is Adoption Awareness Month and recently MTN’s Jill Valley had a chance to talk with adoptive parents and foster parents as they celebrated the creation of families.
Jill is an adoptive parent and had the chance to talk about her journey with the group.
She sat down with some other parents who started as foster parents to hear how that experience has changed their lives.
Emily and Ben were just going to foster but ended up adopting their son. I asked them what they’d say to other people thinking about opening their home to a child who needs one.
"The role that you play as a foster parent or adoptive parent however long it is, the role you play in that child’s life is forever. You’re going to make a permanent impact. So, it’s scary and it’s intimidating to us, but I just think of how much scarier and intimidating it is for the kids who don’t have anyone." - Emily Ostby
MTN News contacted the Montana Department of Health and Human Services (DPHHS) to check the foster care numbers in the state.
The current number is 2,663 and over the years the numbers have continued to decrease.
DPHHS Child and Family Services Division helps to facilitate about 350 adoptions annually statewide.
Jill spoke with another adoptive mom who tells me the training and support available for foster parents helps make sure placements are successful and adults go into this experience with their eyes open.
"There's trauma in their lives, and you have to know how to love kids with trauma and that comes with being trained and being connected to other people who are trained. And I think that’s really the most important thing, having people in your life that know what you’re going through." - Jenn Bertlett
Jenn says her foster/adoptive experience has shown her unconditional love and both she and her child have grown together in this journey.
For people who have questions about becoming foster or adoptive parents, there are many avenues, but you can start by checking out the DPHHS website.