Foster care and adoption can be a complex experience for everyone involved, and some children are filled with trauma after spending time in the system. One little boy, already feeling abandoned, was terrified of what would happen next.
In 1998, Mik Taylor and Tracey tied the knot and gave birth to a girl named Taylor, who has Down syndrome, in 1999. Around a decade later, the duo decided to have more children.
Sadly, it was found that the mom could not have children, so they chose to become foster parents to adopt eventually.
Taylor and her brother Dwayne [left]; Mik Taylor and Tracey [right]. │Source: instagram.com/fosterwhileblackfam
LOOKING FOR A HOME
The foster care system is traumatic for many children trying to find families. This reality, Mik claims, decreases their chances of getting adopted as they get older, especially for black boys.
This is what pushed her and her husband Tracey to become foster parents to a kindergartner of color who they would be taking in as a "pre-adoptive" home.
Dwayne was taken in after his previous foster grandparent, who had cared for him for two years, could not look after him anymore.
ONE STEP AT A TIME
This abandonment, with other issues he probably collected via the foster route, likely frightened the little one. Heartbreakingly, the kindergartner would ask:
"'Will I be moving again? Will I see my family again?'"
However, despite Dwayne's fears, Taylor said he quickly assimilated, referring to her spouse as "Dad" quite early on in the process.
A SPACE TO CALL HOME
The parents-to-be also quickly fell in love with the kindergartner, his smile, and his huge heart. In July 2018, they were ecstatic to learn that they could officially adopt him. Years on, the adoptive mother expressed:
"Dwayne...had finally found his place. Today, Dwayne is a thriving fourth grader, an avid reader excelling far beyond the statistics, beyond the negative expectations."
What could have been a dark future for one kindergartner has transformed into a land of opportunities and a safe space full of love.
Dwayne and Taylor are not the pair's only children. Out of their four children in 2019, they adopted an 8-month-old caucasian baby named David in what is sometimes referred to as "transracial adoption."
Although they were perfectly content with their little one, they received discriminatory attention.
When they went to supermarkets, they were met with rude comments and people outright staring at them, with the negative responses lasting for years.
That being said, they have continued to remain united as a family, not allowing others to decide how their family should look.
TAKING TIME TO HEAL
Whether transracial or not, any adoption can be a traumatic experience for the child. Twelve-year-old Andrew, a caucasian boy, struggled with complex emotions when an African-American family fostered him.
These issues had nothing to do with others judging the family based on race but due to his experience as a foster child itself.
Andrew's biological parents had lost their parental rights, and his siblings were adopted, leaving him to fend for himself in the system for many years. Initially, the young boy pushed his foster parents, Kevin and Dominique Gill, away.
However, they continued to show him love. Andrew also formed a quick and deep bond with their son Joc. Soon enough, the Gills adopted him, and he finally found his true family.
Family is not defined by blood or color but is determined by spaces where someone feels safe, supported, and unconditionally loved.