Im 23 and a mum to two teens – people dont take me seriously as a parent
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A 23-year-old woman who has adopted two teenagers says she's often 'not taken seriously' as a parent.
Teacher Tasia Taylor, from Arkansas, US, and her husband Drew, 25, took in children Rory, 13, and Tamiray, 15, last year.
And despite facing backlash online after a TikTok video about their family went viral – the couple say it's the best thing they have ever done.
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Tasia said people 'consistently have to have a say' and says she's 'not always taken seriously' as a mother.
However she added: "Becoming an empty nester at 28 sounds pretty good."
Tasia and Drew have always been passionate about working with families and helping people get back on their feet.
The pair wanted to open their home to foster kids and in 2022, they started to work with the Department of Children and Family Services.
They originally decided to open their home to kids as old as six, with Tasia saying: "We had originally decided to open our home for ages birth to six-years-old.
"We started the training and required background checks to do so. In the middle of the process, we were asked to take on Rory, our youngest.
"She moved in with us on April 1st and we had less than 24-hours' notice before becoming parents.'
"When Rory first moved in, we didn't know that we would be able to adopt her, or if she would even want to be adopted, but we knew that we would be a safe place for her."
The couple already knew Rory, as Tasia taught her in school.
Tasia added: "Rory was adopted on December 19th, of 2022, the biggest deciding factor in her adoption was her consent.
"She was of age to agree to be adopted and she actually requested that we do so!
"We did not push this idea upon her, and she worked with a legal advocate, through the CASA program (Court Appointed Special Advocates) to decide if this was the best thing for her!
"She fit into our family so well and we loved having her in our home."
Tamiray, who is Tasia's cousin, joined their family soon after. The teen, who lived with her grandmother since she was two, moved in to Tasia and Drew's home with Rory permanently, in July 2022.
Tasia added: "Tamiray is not adopted and I don't think we are going to pursue that route just due to her already being related to us. We have legal custody."
Talking about their situation, she said: "We honestly look younger than we are, although we do not feel the odd age difference in our family dynamic.
"People consistently have something to say about the matter and our requests as parents are not always taken seriously.'
Despite having a loving and happy family life, Tasia admits their family dynamic has come with its challenges.
She added: "Even with our extensive training on trauma in adolescents, and our own experiences as educators, it can be difficult to navigate the girls' triggers and we are working hard every day to be the best support system we can be for them!"
However, she added: "There is no love quite like a parent's love and there have been so many good moments.
"One special moment was the first time Rory was away from us since moving in. She had gone to church camp and she messaged me and said, 'I love you as much as possible'.
"She hadn't been with us very long and I knew that she meant this."
Now 'I love you as much as possible' has become the family's slogan and mantra, with them even getting it printed on shirts they wore to celebrate the adoption.
Tasia says both Rory and Tamiray have shown emotional growth since being taken in by them and said 'the healing process has started to manifest itself in both of them.'
"It is so sweet to watch the girls interact together as sisters after experiencing so much serious and separate losses," she said.
"They are learning to love and trust again and I am just glad I get to be part of the journey for that."
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