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Meet the Mount Adoptive Family from New Mexico

We knew that we were his  family.  

As  a  nurse  who  works  with  people  who have  persistent  mental  illness, Bonnie was  introduced  to  foster  care  through  her employment. At that time she and husband Keith had two sons, one entering grade school and the other starting high school. They decided to give foster parenting a try.

The couple fostered for over two years. Their last foster child was a baby girl whom they had for a year and hoped to adopt. After she was reunified with her birth family, the disappointed Mounts decided to take a break. Bonnie recalls, “We  were  not  even  sure  we’d  foster  again  or  attempt  to  adopt, but if we did we  were  pretty  sure we wanted only  baby  girls.” 

Decisions can change in the beat of a heart. When Keith and Bonnie volunteered at a party for teenagers awaiting adoption, they met the boy who would become their oldest, but newest, son. Bonnie explains “We had gone just to help out in response to an email request from our state agency.  When we  met  John,  6  feet  tall  and  17  years  old,  we knew that we were  his  family.”  The couple later learned that John had decided at the last minute to attend the event because, as he told his caseworker, he didn’t want to “age out” of foster care with no place to call home.  

John was 15 years old when he entered foster  care, and  he lived  in  a  group  home  the  entire  time  until  he  came  to the Mounts.  His new family appreciates John’s quiet demeanor, sharp sense of humor, and helpfulness with household chores.  In his free time, John likes to play video games, listen to music, and keep up with current culture.  He also volunteers at a senior center.  John is on track to graduate high school this year and hopes to attend UNM next fall.

This month brings cause for celebration in the Mount household. Four days before his 18th birthday, John will attend his adoption finalization in court, accompanied by his new parents; his new younger brothers, Daniel, age 16, and Abraham, age 7; and two foster sisters, ages 4 months and 13 years.

The Mounts found encouragement and support for adoption through the local community, through reading many books, and through social media, podcasts, and documentaries.   

Bonnie and Keith respectfully ask members of Congress to increase support  for  older  foster and adopted children  to help them successfully transition  into  adulthood: longer  access  to  Medicaid,  tuition  assistance,  housing assistance, and job  training.  As well, they call for protections and initiatives for LGBTQ families to adopt.  They also see a need for more awareness about LGBTQ children in the foster care system and more support for families to adopt these youth.  Strong advocates for permanent homes for all children, the Mounts encourage every capable adult to consider adopting foster children.

Asked what being adopted means to him, John writes, “It’s a fun experience. Family is a great thing to have.”