The McSurdy family is celebrating the ten year anniversary of the adoption of their former foster son, Michael. On adoption day in 2007, he was 27 when he asked the judge in a Davidson County courtroom to make him part of their family forever.

In 1997, Michael McSurdy (same name) was a social worker experienced with foster care and adoption. Wanting to be free of such topics at home, he and his wife Cecily had not considered fostering or adoption.

One day he met a young man from a youth advisory council for foster care and adoption. Young Michael was charismatic, driven, and spoke French fluently. The teen expressed his feelings of uneasiness regarding the foster home he was currently living in. The family held intense religious beliefs which he felt were being forced on him. He was sometimes denied medical care on the claims that God would heal through prayer. He wasn’t looking for a family, just a place to stay to finish his senior year of high school. The couple took him in. It was his fourth foster placement.

Over the years the couple grew attached to him, although the feeling was not mutual. They helped him go to college, get a job, and buy a car. Michael moved back in from time to time during breaks from school. During that time the McSurdys adopted two younger daughters, who bonded with him like siblings. As the connection with them grew, he decided he wanted to be a member of the family and share the same last name. “For us, it was an awareness that he will come when he needs us, which is what is supposed to happen when you are grown up,” older Michael said. “You can always find your way home.”

Adult adoption rates are climbing annually in America. Most often they are former foster children being adopted by their long-term foster parents.