Katie Holstein is a woman who became a foster mom in 2017, but what she didn’t expect was to foster older children.
However, her perspective changed three years later, and it was all thanks to a teenage girl that changed Katie’s life.
The 28-year-old told People that she had limited herself to only wanting younger kids, but it all changed when she met the 17-year-old Akyra – and she decided to adopt her.
“I was scared, nervous, or just hesitant about taking in teenagers because you do hear a lot of horror stories. But there are some great stories too, and these kids really do deserve a chance and a family, regardless of their age.”
Akyra said that it’s almost too good to be true, and she loves the fact that with Katie, she can just be herself.
Katie was finishing college at Morehead State University and was living at home with her parents and sisters before she became a foster parent.
However, she was done with waiting for ‘Mr. Right’ to have her own kids, and she was ready to be a mom, so she decided to move out and become a foster parent.
“I was just like, ‘There’s never going to be a perfect time. I’m never going to be financially stable or have the perfect house, so I might as well just go ahead and get started.'”
She has fostered 22 children since 2017, but it all changed when she was asked to adopt a baby boy named Thomas.
She knew that she eventually wanted to adopt, and it was a really big decision for her, but she started the lengthy adoption process in January 2019.
Katie’s life took another turn when she was asked to take in Akyra for a weekend – a 17-year-old teenager.
Even though she was already fostering for 4 boys, Katie agreed and was amazed by Akyra.
The two got along really well, and Akyra ended up staying with Katie a few more times that year. However, with the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020, they agreed for Akyra to be staying with Katie long-term.
“It was a big adjustment for both of us. But it probably only took a few weeks before we really got comfortable with each other.”
The initial plan was for Akyra to stay with Katie until she aged out, but the two eventually started thinking about the possibility of adoption.
“My little sister joked, ‘We should just adopt her and be done with it. She’s already a part of the family. Later that night, we got to talking and that’s when Akyra said, ‘Would you consider that?’ That was pretty awesome.”
Katie finally made things official both with Thomas and Akyra right before Akyra’s 17th birthday, and the new family celebrated with a heartwarming photoshoot.
“It took both of us a little while for everything to sink in. With foster care, there’s just so much uncertainty, and you live in that for so long… and then it’s like, ‘This is it. This is forever. No one can ever take them away.'”