HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - November is National Adoption Month, and while it’s common for prospective parents to want to adopt a child from birth, there are also many rewards that come with adopting a teen.
“Teenagers also deserve that love, and they also deserve that forever home,” says Monique Howell, an adoptive mother of two teens. “A lot of things that they went through is not even a fault of their own.”
That outlook is what led Howell to adopt her two teenage girls and help relieve them of the hardship that so many teens face.
“Right here in Alabama, more than 1,600 children are waiting to be adopted,” says Kamilah Bunn, CEO of the Adoption Exchange Association. “According to our national data, 11 percent of them are teens.”
In north Alabama specifically, workers at The Harris Home for Children know full well the reality of those statistics.
“Generally, at Harris Home, we serve children 13 and up,” says Hollie Beaver, a spokesperson for Harris Home. “These children are looking for love, they’re looking for structure, they’re looking for support.”
Not only does providing that forever home change life for the teen, but for the adoptive parent as well.
“With the girls, I had to take them to the salon. That was so exciting to watch them. They’ve never had that type of experience, “ says Howell. “Getting their nails done… to me that was very rewarding to take them to the nail shop, and they just smiled because they got to pick out the colors of what they wanted on their nails.”
It’s the little moments like those that are making a forever impact.
“They’ll give me a hug and say, ‘I love you’ every single night before they go to bed,” says Howell. “For me, that has been the most rewarding experience.”