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Teen embraces the role of a big sister and finds a loving family after years of foster care

Through community activities and dinners, she developed a strong bond with a couple, who eventually adopted her just before her 15th birthday

Teen embraces the role of a big sister and finds a loving family after years of foster care
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Pixabay

Children end up in foster care due to neglect, abuse and abandonment. From the start, the children often go through so much that it is heartbreaking to just hear about. For Merriah, it was difficult growing up as she entered foster care at just 5 years old after enduring abuse and neglect from parents who struggled with mental health and substance abuse. She never knew what stability and safety were as she was often forced to shuttle between multiple foster homes and her mother's house. She felt hopeless and never thought she would find a forever home. "I knew what adoption was, but I just didn't think that was something that was going to ever happen to me," said Merriah, according to Good News Network. "I felt invisible."


 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Foster Care Adoption (@dtfa)


 

Fortunately for her, the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption stepped in. According to their website, they are a national, nonprofit public charity dedicated to finding forever families for the more than 140,000 children waiting to be adopted from foster care in the United States and Canada. "Through its signature program, Wendy's Wonderful Kids, the Foundation supports the hiring of adoption professionals, known as recruiters, who serve children most at risk of aging out of foster care without a permanent home. The Foundation works closely with child welfare advocates and policymakers, provides free resources about foster care adoption and raises awareness through social media campaigns, public service announcements and events," the website read.


 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Foster Care Adoption (@dtfa)


 

These adoption professionals are dedicated to finding permanent families for young people in foster care. A recruiter named Megan helped a couple named Emilie and John to get to know Merriah through community activities and dinners. With time the New York teen began to trust the couple and shared a bond like no other. Just before her 15th birthday, she was adopted!

"It took a huge weight off my chest knowing that I didn't have to worry about not having a home anymore," said Merriah. "I haven't felt relief literally at all in my life." The best part is not only she gets a pair of parents who adore her but also a little sister. "She's the light of my life," Merriah said of her sibling.

Representational Image Source: Pexels | Anastasia Shuraeva
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Anastasia Shuraeva

Merriah's story is an essential reminder that older children also deserve a second chance. "Maybe just meet with a teenager in need and give them a chance to tell their side of the story," suggested Merriah. "Because when you're a kid in the system, you never get to tell your side of the story at all." The teen is all set to go to college after graduating high school with an associate degree. She dreams of becoming a firefighter and also starting her own media management company. "I think for her future the opportunities are endless," her new mom Emilie beamed. "She has shown time and time again that she can do anything she sets her mind to."


 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Foster Care Adoption (@dtfa)


 

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