WASHINGTON COUNTY, Md. (WDVM) — About 135,000 children are adopted in the United States each year. Many of them, who have only experienced traumatic situations, are forced to start over with new faces and new homes.
For Washington County residents, Paul and Rodi Kadin, they have fostered children for over 20 years. They say, not being able to start a family of their own is when their journey began.
“If I can’t get pregnant and when I do, I lose them right away. Maybe this just isn’t the right route I am supposed to have. When I was a child I had said I wanted to adopt and so who knows why all these things come to us,” Rodi said.
The couple went through extensive training to become foster parents and more. They decided to also be a part of respite care.
“We got a call on a Monday about an 11-year-old child that needed a place to stay for a couple of weeks because they had a long term family that went on vacation. So Wednesday Rodi gets the call, and the social worker says “oh I didn’t read the file its a twin can you take both girls”, so it went from an 11- year-old to two eleven-year-olds and their sister. So we went from one child to a family of three girls,” Paul said.
After fostering 18 children, they started their own adoption journey. They adopted a little girl names Sharlana at the age of four. The Kadin’s say, interracial adoption needs more positive light.
“We’re in a white community, and we were very open to our black child,” Rodi said, holding back tears.
Sharlana, known by her peers as Eve, is now 26 years old. She graduated from the University of Maryland and works full time. She says after living a traumatized life with an abusive father, her mother did what was best and gave her up for adoption. Eve says having white parents never bothered her, but it followed her as she grew up.
“It’s so interesting telling people, I’m adopted and I have white parents, they say oh my gosh you’re adopted with white parents? In the black society they would be like why would they want to adopt a black child, so of course, growing up I have to say it was difficult trying to fit in because I always felt like I was I between,” Eve said.
Eve also says, there will be one day when an adopted child asks their parents why they chose them.
“She starts crying on the phone and she said, honestly it’s not because of your race, I didn’t see the color I saw a child that needed a loving home,” Eve said.
Eve explained that its people like the Kadin’s that make life worth living. She says she doesn’t know where she would be today if Paul and Rodi, her mom and dad, weren’t in her life.
“I thank them so much for adopting me, and giving me things that I only could have dreamed of as a child and loved me for not my race but my soul and everything,” Eve said, holding back tears of joy.
Sharlana says she wants to start her own homeless foundation, to help other people just like her.