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Meet the Shoop Family; An Adoptive Family from Florida

Carrie and Andy Shoop have created a joyous family by adopting two pairs of siblings. With two teens, a preadolescent, and a grade school aged child, the Shoop household is filled with merriment and laughter. Andy’s expertise as a public school teacher, combined with Carrie’s availability as a full time mom, assure the couple’s competency to handle challenges. The Shoop children are: daughter Aniya, age 18; son Jahmai, age 17; daughter Drew, age 12; and son Jeremiah, age 7.

“Being a transracial family comes with challenges, but we focus on the joy.”

The couple adopted Jahmai first, just before his 9th birthday, after 8 years in foster care. Two year later, when his older sister Aniya came back into state custody from a failed adoption, the Shoops advocated for reuniting the siblings. Aniya was 12 years old, and she had spent 11 years in and out of foster care when the Shoops adopted her. Now age 18, Aniya is described as “funny, smart, thoughtful, and just an all-around great person.” Jahmai, age 17, is a hard worker who likes to help others.

The youngest two Shoops are also biological siblings, adopted together at ages 8 and 3, after a two-year stay in foster care. Now age 12, creative Drew likes to write stories and suggest fun games to play with her siblings. Smart, goofy, and fun-loving Jeremiah, age 7, can play happily for hours with Play-Doh, building blocks, cars, and Monster Trucks.

All four youngsters are compassionate, intelligent, and witty. Mom says, “It seems like we never stop laughing. Our kids are so funny and a joy to be around.”

Another trait the Shoop youngster share is resilience. They have all worked hard to overcome their earlier experiences of extreme abuse and neglect. Carrie and Andy appreciate the therapy provided through Comprehensive Adoption Services at Children’s Home Society (CHS) of Florida. Their oldest son attends a LGBT support group at CHS, while Carrie and Andy attend the parent support group.

Adoption has created ethnic diversity in the Shoop family. “While their culture did not play a role in our decision to adopt, it does so in our everyday life. Being a transracial family comes with challenges, but we focus on the joy our children bring us.”

The Shoops thank members of Congress for the helpful Federal Adoption Tax Credit. They ask policymakers to reduce the number of children who ‘age out’ of foster care by making permanency for youth a priority. “We need more support for our teens in care and our LGBTQ youth in care. We need Adoption Competency Training for everyone involved in the process. More incentives are needed to maintain the staff that provide care to children. It makes a difference when you have the same team with you throughout the process.”

Carrie and Andy advocate for the adoption of foster children every chance they get. They tell others, “ADOPTION IS WORTH IT because every child deserves a family. The good times outweigh the hard. The kids who are in foster care are amazing and you would be lucky to have any one of them in your family.”