Kim Offut met her oldest son when he was 8—and in that moment, she knew he was meant to be her child.
At the time, Kim was working as a social worker in the Michigan foster care system. She was trying to find adoptive families for kids in foster care, and she was "going around Detroit videotaping kids . . . I thought, if I just let them share their story, people will respond."
"When I videotaped this boy, there was something about him. I just knew that he was my son. I knew it."
She and her husband applied to become foster parents with the intention to adopt. When they went back to pick up their son-to-be, he was incredulous:
"Me? You want to adopt me?"
Eleven years later, Kim can still hear the disbelief in her son's voice. For that little boy, it was a miracle: A family wanted him!
Right now, 104,000 children in the U.S. foster care system—out of a total of 400,000—are waiting for adoptive families. The courts have determined that it is unsafe for them to return to their biological families. They are "legal orphans," living in uncertainty, longing for permanent homes.
At the same time, while children wait, many married couples are yearning to grow their families through adoption. If you're one of those couples, have you considered adopting a child from foster care? You could change a child's life.
"Kids stay in foster care for two to three years on average but can be there much longer," says Kim, who now works as National Foster Care Adoption Liaison for Bethany Christian Services. Based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Bethany is a global child and family services agency that provides adoption and foster care services across the United States.