How I became a “perfect” parent to a teen

By Paige Dickey

Two and a half years ago, an extraordinary young woman entered my life. When I first met Brittany she was 13 years old. It was clear that she had great potential, but she hadn’t received enough love. She got along with my two sons, and we could tell that she would make a great big sister.

My husband Travis and I decided to adopt a teenager because we wanted to give back. We wanted to provide a child with a loving home and a supportive environment for the rest of his or her life. We’re not super wealthy or a perfect family, but I’m a pretty good mom, so I thought that it was something I could do.

I spent weeks on the AdoptUSKids web site looking for the right addition to our family. Since we already had two young boys, we thought it might be good to have a girl and in a different age category. Travis joked that if we adopted a teen, at least we would know who we were getting; her personality would already be formed.

When we first adopted Brittany, she certainly had a lot of personality, but at the same time, she had a lot of room to grow. She was just about to start 7th grade and was probably on about a 4th grade level academically. We got her tutors, and her dad worked with her a lot. She worked hard in 8th grade too, and when she went to high school she was recommended for honors Biology and honors Math.

Watch Paige Dickey’s video about her experience adopting a teenage from foster care

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My Life with Brittany — 2 Comments

  1. I had foster sister who was adopted my parents when she was in her late teens. Wasn’t an easy experience but it was enriching and worth it!

  2. We just received a foster placement of a teenage girl – our first teen! So far it’s been an excellent experience! I think people are so afraid of adopting or fostering teens, but they are really just hurt and lost children who need some love and guidance, just like any other child.

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