“I never thought about having a 17-year-old join our family. But after we met him, there was not a doubt in our minds,” Amy told us. She and Scott spoke with Eyewitness News in Scott’s math classroom in Esko last week. The family is from Duluth.
The Arntsons had thought about foster care for years. But it wasn’t until they met Isaiah, that the stars all aligned. Kris Horman from North Homes, Inc. helped them through their journey.
“We help families from pre-adoption training, matching services, licensing, education, and support groups. They’re not alone in the process,” Horman explained. She was their adoption case manager.
The Arntsons learned more about Isaiah through his bio. Bios are put together to help present information about the children waiting for adoption. Scott said, “We could expand our family. And reading those bios, you want to do that after reading something like that.”
Amy added, “One of the biggest things about adopting a teen is it’s also their choice. To invite someone to join your family on the weekends, and then hear them want to join the family, it’s very moving.”
One thing they were not expecting was that some people assume that something is wrong with Isaiah. “The stigma. We need to break down that barrier. We’re not out to fix him. He’s not broken. He needs a family. Every child deserves a family,” Amy said.
The Arntsons were invited to speak about adoption with members of Congress. They flew out on Tuesday, and spent Wednesday at the the capitol. “We need to show there’s a critical need for support and policies and funding for adoption and foster care,” Amy said. November is also National Adoption Month.
In September, there were 766 children waiting for permanent, loving, adoptive homes in Minnesota.
“There’s a real need out there,” Horman added. “It’s an important thing for people to do.”
There are a variety of agencies that help. For more information: http://www.mnadopt.org