It's hard to be a teenager. Between the hormones, all of the new social expectations, the pressure to grow up and the pressure to still be a kid — it's one of the most emotionally taxing times in a person's life. Now imagine what it's like to go through all of that teenage angst without a family. Without a mom you get to roll your eyes because you know she's in your corner no matter what. Without a room to call your own or people who want to call you theirs. A new PSA about adopting teens from foster care touches on just that and serves as a powerful reminder that being a part of a family is a deep human need that doesn't end when you're a teenager.
The Ad Council has come out with a new series of public service announcements in partnership with AdoptUSKids, Administration for Children and Families, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to encourage people to consider adopting teens who are in foster care. In an effort to find loving homes for teenagers who are currently living in the U.S. foster care system (which the Ad Council notes is approximately one out of every five of the 123,000 kids waiting to be adopted), these organizations are sharing a series of emotional videos inspired by real adoption stories.
The first in the series shares the story of a teenage boy nervously entering his new home, looking at the pictures on the wall and clearly wondering how he's going to fit into those pictures.
The video follows his journey as the teenager slowly becomes part of the family, but perhaps even more than that, it shows how much the simple things we take for granted can truly change the life of a teen. The look on his face when he is called in for supper, or going for ice cream... or has his own photo added to the family wall of photos. The video ends with him going into the kitchen to hug his new mother, and honestly if you don't break down sobbing I don't know what to say.
"No matter our age, we never outgrow the need for a loving and supportive family," the Ad Council noted in the video's caption on YouTube. "This PSA reminds prospective parents that they will not always be the ones who will be doing the teaching. Adopted teens can help their parents grow in ways they never imagined, giving families a completely new set of moments to look forward to."
Another video in the series featured a group of teens who had been adopted reading letters from their new families. One young man, who was adopted at the age of 14, read a letter from his adoptive mom saying, "From the moment we met, it felt like we fit."
It can seem like a daunting task, welcoming a teenager into your home as part of your family. Which is perhaps why teenagers between 15 to 17 years old stay in the foster system twice as long as kids 14 and younger to get adopted, as per the Ad Council . But that doesn't mean it's not worth the effort. As these videos show, there are so many rewards for both kids and parents when you give a teenager a home. Because everyone needs a place to call home and people to love them, right?
To find out more about adopting a child visit AdoptUSKids.