Atlanta — Every child requires a family, whether a two-parent or a single-parent household. In addition, every child deserves and needs unconditional love, but that’s not always the case. Every year in the United States, about 135,000 children are adopted while there are countless others who either grow up within the foster care system or do not have the opportunity to find their home.
Those fortunate enough to be adopted can often experience wonderful highs and challenging lows when embracing a new family. RaisingCultures, Justthebells10 and many other adopted families showcase what it means to have a blended family.
One story, in particular, stands out to me, and that is of my best friend Skylar Pierce.
Pierce was born in June 2000 in Galveston, Texas, and a little over a week after her birth, she was adopted and relocated to Portland, Oregon. There she was raised by a single mother, Melissa Pierce. Growing up, Skylar was exposed to dance classes and fell in love with cheerleading which she continued to do until graduating from high school in 2018.
While living in Oregon, she faced the “racial divide.” With her birth parents being Black and white, and her adoptive mother being white, she often felt that she didn’t fit into one group and vice versa.
“I was constantly surrounded by white people. I went to the same school all my life until middle school when my mom decided it would be a good opportunity to attend a majority black middle school,” Pierce said. “It was a big shift, I was always ‘too white’ to fit in, but in times like that, you don’t always need to fit in, just be yourself.”
According to Lovetoknow. com, roughly only 18,000 kids are adopted each year. Those adopted (25%) lived with someone of a different race.
“I had the best life, a life I couldn’t think I would have if I weren’t adopted,” she said, adding that her birth mother was addicted to drugs and didn’t know who Skylar’s father was. Her birth mother also had other children, but Skylar was the only one she gave up for adoption.
“If my mother didn't adopt me, there is no way of knowing where I would be now,” she said. “I am so grateful to my mom for choosing me and raising me as her own. Biology didn’t matter, I know that Melissa Pierce is my mother and I am her daughter.”
Thousands of kids grow up in the foster care system each year and unfortunately, most children do not get adopted due to some families not wanting to adopt older kids. If you were to ask how many children go without getting adopted, the answer may surprise you. Around 20,000 children “age out” of foster care each year, which means they are now legally adults without ever finding a family through adoption. Many children grow up lost and confused, not coming from a happy home. Some are constantly moving within the system — from foster family to foster family. The ones that get adopted, have the chance to live a life that all children deserve - a proper family and unconditional love. Imagine only 1 in 135,000 that gets a second chance at receiving a family.
Miracle Trice, (she/her) is from Portland but is an Atlanta-based journalist who covers all aspects of entertainment and culture. Follow her on X and Instagram: @miracletb_
Edited by Nykeya Woods