After 23 Homes and Nearly 6 Years, Foster Child Finally Gets His Forever Family


When Kareem first came to Elaine Newkirk’s home he said, “I will never get adopted, so many people say they will keep me, then they don’t want me anymore.”

Neither of them knew it yet, but Kareem had found his forever home.

In a Facebook post, Elaine described Kareem’s behavior his first year with her family. He was only 6 years old, but he was extremely angry and bitter.

He hit people and cursed them out. He lied and stole things. He punched holes in the walls and broke windows. Many of his previous foster families were afraid of him.

Despite the way he was lashing out, Elaine showed him amazing patience. She said, “He fought me with everything he had, yet he somehow stole the hearts of me and my children.”

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Elaine chose to show the love talked about in 1 Corinthians 13, “Love is patient. Love is kind. Love is not easily angered. Love protects, trusts, hopes, always perseveres.”

She looked past the cursing, past the punching, and past the lies. Instead, she saw a little boy who was “worthy of love.”

Three years later Kareem’s behavior has completely changed. He is sweet and respectful.

No hitting. No cursing. No holes in the wall.

Elaine knows that her boy has not changed; the only thing that changed was how he was loved.

In the first few days that Kareem was placed with Elaine, she asked him to make a list of things he wanted — goals to work toward. Number 1 on his list? “To get a mom.”

On March 20, 2018, he was able to cross that off.

Kareem wasn’t able to hold back his tears as his adoption papers were signed. The 9-year-old never believed that the day would come and was overwhelmed with joy.

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A large group of people gathered at the courthouse to celebrate with Elaine and her family. Pictures were taken of Kareem with a sign reading, “I was a foster child. I lived in 23 homes. It took 5yrs, 11mos, and 11 days to find my forever (home). Today I got ADOPTED.”

“He was and is a child who needed someone to look past his actions, his behaviors, his outburst, his exterior and see his heart. Someone to show him he is worth loving,” Elaine said.

Now Kareem hopes that his story gets shared so he can become famous — “so he can tell other people all over the world to adopt kids.”

He may just get to cross off another item on his list.

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Kayla has been a staff writer for The Western Journal since 2018.
Kayla Kunkel began writing for The Western Journal in 2018.
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