How My Adoption Changed My Life. And Why We Need More Champions For Children

This guest post is by Zoe Bourgeois, an adoptee and social worker. 

November is one of my favourite months for many reasons really.

I have told my story more times than I count to so many different kinds of people all over the world. Adoption is a HUGE part of my life.

It literally saved me from aging out of the Provincial Care System (foster care). I was very lucky, and I mean very lucky to have found mama at the age I did.

I entered her home for the first time when I was 11. I was broken, sad and all sorts of confused. My first adopted home failed me and didn’t turn out to be a good home at all.

It actually created more damage and trauma in my life than bettered me. But then I was blessed to be placed with my beautiful ‘Mama Goose.’

We are about to hit our 16 year anniversary next year in February. That’s sixteen beautiful years of permanency, stability, unconditional love, a home and a family.

I was shuffled in and out of foster care since I was 1 and half years old until eleven. At the age of 9, my birth mom gave birth to my baby brother Alex who was immediately placed for adoption.

I looked at my social worker and asked what adoption was and she went on and explained to me what my brother was going to have.

And I felt jealous of him. Jealous that he got the opportunity to escape foster care and all the bullshit that came with being a foster child.

I then asked her if I could be adopted and she, of course, supported my decision. I slowly learned though at age 9, your adoptability drops because everyone wants a baby to adopt not an older child who comes with baggage.

So today, I sit here a 26 year old woman who is thankful and blessed to have been adopted almost 16 years ago.

I love you mama, you’ve taught me so much in life and continue to do so. My life wouldn’t be where it is without you.

I still have my struggles and fight everyday for my mental health but I can honestly say, my life has been completely changed because of adoption and because of mama.

So if you’re thinking about adoption, foster care or anything to do with children in the system—do it because we need more champions for children.

Be like my mama and become their champion and change their life. You never know how much of a difference you can make for an older child.

All I wanted was an opportunity to live a good life and to be presented with a home for me to grow up healthy and focus on my strengths and I got that and with that I was able to have a future.

You can watch my story here.

Zoe Bourgeois is a social worker and Project Coordinator at Partners For Youth Inc. in Fredericton, New Brunswick

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