EARLY YEARS: Martinsville mom shares her story of fostering to adopt a teen

November is National Adoption Month
Still many firsts and milestones adoptive parents can enjoy if they adopt an older child or teen
Published: Nov. 24, 2021 at 5:38 AM EST
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Martinsville mom Terri Trammell is working with HopeTree Family services, as she begins the journey of fostering to adopt a teenage girl.

“I love it. I’d rather have them as a teenager to foster than a young person, because they’re beyond the phase where they’re trying to find themselves and it’s a lot easier,” says Trammell.

While she’s fostered younger children, Trammell says she likes the fact that teens are more independent.

But often, they’re the age group that gets overlooked.

“Everybody wants a baby. Babies haven’t had too much trauma. But when they get to that school age, they experience so much, and it’s really hard to re-learn some things when you’re in that age group,” says Trammell.

Adoption expert Kamilah Bunn says a national campaign is encouraging more teen adoptions, with a focus on the joy and pride that comes with raising older kids.

“There are so many firsts, I think that people tend to think about, you know, a child’s first steps, but there are many milestones that also come along with the teen and adolescent years that are also very rewarding,” says Bunn.

Bunn says that includes feeling the pride of watching a teen excel in school, sports or other activities.

Of course there are challenges.

Trammell says her teen missed her friends; then COVID hit.

Now that school is back, things are much better.

“COVID was a big challenge. Her losing her friends, another challenge. But the fact that school has started. She’s working. She’s going to school. She has friends here.. big difference,” says Trammell.

And a big change in a teen’s life, for the better.

But those big changes can come in little moments.

“Special moments, every conversation matters. Just having an opportunity to be in someone’s life and to pass on what you’ve learned in your life, but also to learn from them,” says Bunn.

You can learn more about the benefits of adopting teens, by clicking this link.

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