Wednesday’s Child: Red’s new forever family found on the East Coast
SALT LAKE CITY — When 13-year-old Red entered foster care two years ago, she never imagined being adopted by a woman in New York, but today that’s exactly where Red is living and not only does she now have a mother, but she also has two sisters, three dogs, and two cats.
“I was really excited to have a family to call my own and have a fresh start and go somewhere new, and this is exactly what I needed,” said Red to KSL TV’s Shara Park.
Red and her mother, Kim, offered to share their adoption story in hopes of bringing awareness to the need for more foster and adoptive families.
“I never intended on doing a cross-country adoption, but it was the most incredible thing,” Kim said.
For six years Kim, who is a single mother of two, considered adopting, she had gone through the process of becoming a foster parent.
In January 2021, came across Red’s profile on a national adoption website, AdoptUSKids.
“I saw her picture and read her bio, and I was like, she sounds amazing,” Kim said. “When I inquired about Red, her case workers got back to me right away, and the process, as long as it was, was significantly easier than I could have imagined.”
After a few months of communication with Red, Kim learned she could come to Utah and take the next steps toward adoption.
“This was definitely the biggest leap and the best thing I’ve ever done in my life,” Kim said.
“When I heard they found a family for me and there was a family that wanted to adopt me, I was really happy and excited because I didn’t want to be in foster care forever,” Red said.
In March 2021, Kim and her two daughters drove to Utah to meet Red. Their first family date was at Lagoon.
“That very first meeting, I think my heart actually exploded,” Kim said.
For several days Kim and the girls spent time together and formed a bond. Kim said she knew she wanted to adopt Red and make her part of the family and hoped she could be the mother Red needed.
“It was scary on a lot of levels, like am I going to be a good enough mom to her,” Kim said. “She was 11, she’s coming into being a teenager, like holy moly, what is going on here? I was just worried I wouldn’t be a good enough mom.”
But Kim would end up being just what Red needed to feel loved and accepted.
“I know I’m here forever and they’re not just going to give me away,” Red said.
The interstate adoption process takes time – but in October 2021, Kim was finally allowed to move Red to New York, and then in April of this year – she was officially adopted.
Red is now enjoying all the things New York has to offer, she says she loves the fall colors and trying new things with her sisters. Kim said she’s good at basketball and loves playing on a team.
“She has seen, in her short life, some of the hardest things I could ever imagine, and she’s here, and she’s so strong and so determined, she knows what she wants to do, she knows who she is, and I’m so proud to be along for the ride on that,” Kim said.
Red says her mother and sisters have given her a new outlook on life, and she wants other kids living in foster care to know that happiness is out there.
“You can’t define yourself by foster care because you’re still human even though you’re in foster care, you’re just waiting for the right person to find you,” Red said.
When asked what advice Kim would give other families who may be considering fostering or adoption, her answer is simple.
“It is so worth it, hesitation is natural, but it is so good,” Kim said.
If you would like to know more about fostering or adopting a child living in foster care – please visit Raise the Future website.
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