Want to become a foster parent/family? Find out how.
After being in and out of foster homes for most of his childhood, one of Michael Darrough’s biggest fears was that he’d end up homeless one day.
“I just know that a lot of foster kids have trouble being successful, and I was nervous about falling into that category. I get a little choked up taking about it,” he says as his voice quivers a little.
It isn’t his old childhood fear that gets Darrough, now 22, choked up, though. It’s the family that finally allowed him to release that fear.
Darrough first entered the foster system around age five after Child Protective Services was tipped off by a neighbor that his parents, who both struggled with drug and alcohol abuse, were neglecting Darrough and his five siblings. Due to the difficulty of finding a foster family able to take in six children at once, the kids were split up and sent to different homes.
This process repeated itself numerous times until Darrough was in his early teens, his parents regaining and losing custody of the children, and the children subsequently being directed to new foster homes.
When he was a junior at Del Oro High School in Loomis, one of his best friends from school invited Darrough to stay with his family for some respite from a foster family that Darrough was having trouble connecting with. While there, Darrough told his friend’s parents about his ongoing journey through the foster system and his struggle to find stability. “I just explained my whole life story to them,” he says. “They wanted to give me a life.”
After taking care of legal logistics with his longtime social worker, Darrough moved in and immediately felt like part of the family. “I loved this family,” he says of finally feeling at home. “I was nervous to bring up adoption because I wasn’t sure how they felt,” he says, “but I just knew that this was my family.”
Darrough was 17 when he brought up the topic of adoption. “They asked me if I was sure I wanted to be part of this family,” he remembers of that initial conversation. “I was like, ‘Of course I do!’” After some paperwork and a handful of court appearances, it was official.
“Being adopted has given me a new start in life, a new perspective,” he says of how the decision has impacted him in his transition into adulthood. “Being with a family that cares about me and wants me to succeed has given me so many opportunities. They showed me the way.”
Become a Resource Family for Local Foster Children.