There are a few mantras The Adoption Exchange recites often. Two of those sayings – “unadoptable is unacceptable” and “no child is too old for a family” – are exemplified through JB’s story.
JB entered the Utah foster care system at age nine and was initially placed together with his older brother. Unfortunately, the first placement decided not to adopt the boys and they were eventually separated. This meant another move and another loss for JB. He continued enduring hardship as he experienced many more moves and a total of eight different placements. JB lived in homes with multiple families who stated they would adopt him, but never followed through.
The Adoption Exchange continued to intensively recruit for the right family for JB and eventually a connection was made with an out-of-state family. However, moving a child across state lines poses challenges and requires extra processes regulated by the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC). According to childwelfare.gov, “The 1960 ICPC has not kept pace with major changes in child welfare practice and technology, and placement across State lines can still present difficulties and delays.” While The Adoption Exchange worked to help mitigate ICPC challenges, ultimately the difficulties caused JB’s application to be placed with the out-of-state family to be denied.
During this time, JB began working at a cleaning business owned by the mother of one of his high school friends (Trish Macklin). Trish and her husband Lamar found out that JB was in foster care and was searching for an adoptive placement. In November of 2016, JB was faced with another failed placement. It was not long after this discouraging news that the Macklin family was identified as a placement option for JB.
Although he was saddened that another connection fell through for JB, Lamar also stated that he was, “secretly happy” for himself because this was finally the opportunity for his family to adopt JB. Lamar stated that he would be honored to be JB’s father. Similarly, Trish expressed how miraculous it was for the, “universe to align” and for events to transpire the way they did, so that they could adopt JB because he was meant to be a part of their family. JB was never “unadoptable” or “too old” in their eyes.
Both Trish and Lamar expressed sadness by the thought of JB being let down multiple times by families who chose not to adopt him. Trish and Lamar were delighted to adopt JB and be the family that followed through on their word to him. JB was 18 years and 4 months old when his adoption finalized!