Meet Marina Hopcraft, this is her second blog speaking to how her life changed when she was adopted.
How rules apply without DHS
Being adopted was a choice made for me. I had no say in the matter but only the knowledge of it. I came to the realization that even though I did not want to be adopted by this family, that I needed to be grateful of one. Within the years of me still being in the system we have had kids coming in and out of our care. Workers came to talk to the kids as well as me, wanting to know how I was getting along and, adapting to the rules. I knew of the rules and followed them, but I knew that these rules were what bound me to the system. Keeping the doors open while sleeping and getting dressed, having a background check of the family's friends that I came to connect with in order for me to hang out with them. When I was under the Department of Human Services eye, I understood that those rules applied to me for my safety, and I followed them like the good girl that I am. However, all of that changed when I was told that I was being adopted. I was relieved that DHHS rules would no longer apply to me. I was going to have friends over that I wanted, I was going to have the level of privacy other people my age have. After adoption the adopted family continued to enforce the strict DHHS rules rather than accepting me as part of the family. The rules that were made for my safety started to change and became more far reaching. Some of the rules are not being allowed to go to my friends house because that was dangerous, or not having a phone of my own to call the adoptive family.
This is what made me doubt the system and one of the reasons that I left the adoptive family. Even though I was adopted and there were family members there to witness that I was no longer a ward of the state, I was still being treated like one behind doors.
Things have turned around for me for the good. I have had family members and friends come to me with open arms, wanting to help me in any way that they can. To this day I am holding a steady job at Sam's Club and have completed my CNA class and got my licence. I have graduated high school and plan on attending college in the fall. I am renting out a duplex from a family that I get along with and help them in any way that I can. I have truly been blessed by amazing, loving supportive families and friends.
Fostering Success Michigan is a program of Educate Tomorrow that aims to increase access and success in higher education and post-college careers for youth with experience in foster care. Learn how you can contribute to building a holistic network that insulates (i.e., strengthens protective factors and reduces risks) the education to career "pipeline."Make a Donation