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For Kids In Foster Care, Adoption Marks End To 'Heartbreaking' Loneliness

Monica Spain
Seryna, 14, stands between her new parents, Nicole and Thad Kittelson.

In Washington, there are almost 9,000 children in foster care. About a quarter of them are eligible for adoption.

I visited the King County courthouse to meet a family as they welcomed their foster daughter into their home — permanently.

In foster care, finding a place in a family truly is a dream come true. That’s the case for 14-year-old SerynaKittelson, who is being adopted after about three and a half years in foster care. 

“To be in the foster care system, like it doesn’t seem like it would be that bad of a thing, but it’s just…it’s heartbreaking, and you think about it every day, and you know it’s like I’m not really part of a family anymore. I’m alone,” she said.

Seryna and her new family, the Kittelsons, spoke out as part of National Adoption Day. Nicole Kittelson and her husband, Thad, already have one biological child and three other adopted children at home in Renton. Nicole says for her daughter, Seryna, who is now the big sister, the change is monumental.

“It means that she’s never going to have to move again. She’s never going to have to wonder and worry if there’s a family who’s going to love her for who she is for the rest of her life,” she said.

During the past decade, more than a thousand Washington foster children have aged out of foster care without finding permanent homes. Nicole says for kids and parents, finding your “forever family” is cause for celebration, but it can be bittersweet for the child. 

“This is also the finality that, ‘You know what? There’s never going to be a chance for my birth family to get me back.’ So there’s that piece that I don’t think people realize,” she said.

As for Seryna, she says what’s been driving her dream is hope, which she wants to share that with other foster kids.

“No matter what you go through again, and no matter what happens, everything’s going to be okay in the end. And if it’s not okay, then it’s not the end,” she said.