The goal for children in foster care is to find them permanent homes. If they can’t live with their birth parents, the next best thing might be adoption. But the road to adoption can be bumpy, and for some children their dreams of a permanent family are dashed before the papers are even signed.
"I refuse to sink"
Nineteen year old Candice Sponaas is a blonde tomboy with a 1000-watt smile.
Like a lot of teenagers, Sponaas is really into tattoos. She designed the one on her forearm. It’s a big, floral infinity symbol with an anchor on one end and a rose on the other. In between are the words “I refuse to sink.” As she starts to talk about her broken adoption, I notice her glance down at the tattoo on her arm. It seems to give her strength just looking at it.
Sponaas moved in with her soon-to-be adoptive family just before she turned 18. They planned to adopt her in a year or two. But ten months in, things were not going well – especially between Sponaas and the mom of the house. So Sponaas moved out.
"And then we just stopped talking," says Sponaas. "And then she said I think it’s better if we just don’t try to force everything here. I wish you nothing but happiness, but that’s all that there is. So, that adoption is never going to happen."