Being forced into the foster system can be heartbreaking for many children. Getting used to the life with different families is tiring and not every child feels loved and accepted. The sad reality is that many of the foster children don’t get the chance to be adopted. As a result, a lot of them age out and end up without a roof over their head.
A girl named Akyra has spent a number of years moving from one family to another. As she reached 16 and changed 24 families, she feared that no one would be willing to adopt her and she would be forced into homelessness. But then, something truly serendipitous happened.
Katie Holstein, a woman who has fostered 16 kids since 2017, got a call about Akyra. Her “favorite social worker” had a special request. “I know you don’t do teens, but I have this girl. She’s great, her and her current foster family just need a break. What about just for the weekend?” the social worker told Katie.
As she felt sorry for the teen, Katie agreed to welcome Akyra into her home for a week. At the time, Katie was fostering five children all under the age of five and couldn’t possibly take Akyra in for long. However, knowing how important it was for the teen to have a place while at high-school, Katie allowed her to stay as many times as she needed it.
Around a year after they first met and 3,739 days in the foster system, Akyra gathered the courage to ask Katie a very important question. She asked if Katie was willing to adopt her. “I think that was an important moment for her, because that decision came completely from her. After so many years of having no control over where she lived, she got a say in what she wanted,” Katie told Love What Matters and added that her answer was a resounding ‘yes.’
A few days before turning 17, Akyra, or Okra as her new mom calls her, officially became part of Katie’s family.
On the same day when she adopted Akyra, the single mom also adopted 1-year-old Thomas, a sweet boy she looked after since he was under a week old.
“Even though she’s been in foster care for so long only to be disappointed, she took a chance on me and my family and let herself be loved again,” Katie said of her daughter.
“She’s got a lot of her own life experiences and opinions and I respect that, I’m not a domineering mom. It was a learning curve for us both, and we’re still learning now, but it’s worth it.”
This single mom who entered the world of fostering children by chance because she wanted to have children and was tired of waiting for Mr. Right now has a family to call her own.
This family is such an inspiration. We are so happy for them.
For more go to the video below.