TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - Nearly half-a-million kids nationwide are in foster care and many of them are ready for adoption right now but are still waiting for a family.
November is National Adoption Month.
A Wabash Valley mom says she wanted to grow her family through adoption but chose to foster first.
Lisa Hughes says, "It's amazing to be able to provide a forever home for a child who otherwise wouldn't have it."
Lisa Hughes says she and her husband Mike have cared for twenty-six foster kids. The couple first became adoptive parents about two years ago. They had been caring for three siblings for four years before the adoption was final.
Now the family is in the process of adopting a fourth child. The 4-year-old boy's adoption will be final November 16th, which is National Adoption Day.
Hughes says, "My kids are my kids. I mean, it is no different than a biological kid or an adopted kid."
She says fostering is an emotional experience for parents but deeply important for children. Hughes explains many people tell her they could not be a foster parent because they would get too attached to children they could lose. She says that’s why they would be good foster parents.
“A lot of kids in general, not just foster kids, but all kids need attachment, right? You need to be attached. You need to be able to love them and show them that love."
The goal of fostering is to provide a safe and loving home for children as biological parents take action to improve their circumstances and one day take their children back but not every story ends with parents reuniting with their children who have been in foster care.
Local advocate and CEO of Indiana Foster and Adoptive Parents Advocacy Group Kristi Cundiff says this is why fostering to adopt is so important.
"I always love promoting adoption and I always love the part that we can give children a forever family; children who have lingered in care and time is up and they're not going to be able to go back home and so we need to give them a permanent home."
Hughes says adoption is a journey and her children have made great strides. She wants others to know her family is just like anyone else’s.
"We argue. We laugh. We cry. It is exactly the same and it's a journey I wouldn't change."
This adoption is just one of many happening this month. Nearly sixty-five thousand kids have been adopted on National Adoption Day in the last 17 years.