FOUNTAIN, Colo. (CBS4) – When people think of adoption, they often think of babies and toddlers, but a majority of children looking for forever families in Colorado actually tend to be a bit older.
Two new parents from Fountain recently found that adopting a teen can be a very rewarding experience.
Kay and Mike Wolfe have been welcoming foster children into their home for years. They began doing it in their early 50s and have helped raise 20 children since then. But their lives changed permanently when they met Deryck.
Deryck had been in foster care since he was 6 when CBS4 featured him in our weekly Wednesday’s Child report. Like most children featured in the weekly reports — and like most children in the state’s foster care system — life had been difficult for Deryck.
“These kids have been through a lot,” Kay said. “They need someone to love them and care for them.”
At the time Deryck’s dream for when he grew up was to become a Green Beret. So when CBS4 featured him as a Wednesday’s Child in 2008 real members of the armed services dressed Deryck up in camoflauge and took him through military drills at the Auraria campus in Denver.
He was smiling the whole time. And little did he know his life was about to change forever.
Soon after that, the Wolfes got a call from state social services agents.
“They called and said they needed a (foster) home for a 15 year old,” Kay said.
The Wolfes welcomed Deryck into their home, and said they knew right off the bat that he was special.
“He would always ask about helping with stuff, wanting to do different things with the family around the house,” Mike said.
It would be the start of an incredible journey for all three.
“At first he was a tough child, but you could see that as the months went by, I think he more or less accepted us,” Mike said.
Through their love and dedication, the Wolfes saw an incredible transformation.
“He did better in school. His grades went up. He just started changing,” Mike said.
Kay and Mike soon began thinking about actually adopting Deryck. Before they got a chance to sit down with him and talk with him about it, Deryck beat them to the punch.
“He said ‘Why don’t you adopt me? And I said ‘Why would you want us to do something like that?’ and he looked at us and he said ‘Because you love me,'” Kay said.
They did, and the adoption was made final in November.
Since then Deryck says finding his forever family has been a dream come true.
“They have fun with you. They love you,” Deryck told CBS4. “‘They’re awesome.”
Mike says he’s gotten a good perspective in his experience as a foster father and now as Deryck’s dad.
“As time goes by you learn to work with them, go with the flow, show the kids that there is life out there and that they can have a good life, and have a better life,” Mike said.
The Wolfes also have a message for anyone considering adoption: just follow your heart.
“Don’t be afraid to adopt a teenager,” Kay said. “We’ll never regret it.”
A DAY FOR WEDNESDAY’S CHILD
CBS4 is teaming up with The Adoption Exchange on April 4 to showcase Colorado children waiting for adoption. For more info, watch CBS4 newscasts throughout the day, call (303) 839-9778 or (888) 246-9251 before 10:30 p.m. or donate at Adoptex.org.