It's not easy being a teenager. The world is full of contradictions, emotional and physical upheaval and some pretty scary landmines, such as drugs and alcohol.

Now imagine being a teenager without a place to call home, with just the backpack on your back, being bounced around from foster family to foster family.

That was the fate of 13-year-old Tori, who is one of the lucky foster kids: She was adopted in 2014 by Angela and Jeff Uhler, and their biological daughter, Grace, of Windsor Township.

Tori went from not knowing if she would have the support to make it through high school — that's a difficult feat made more difficult when a child is transient — to having the love and support of a family for life.

Her parents are amazed at Tori's growth since she came to live with them.

Across Pennsylvania, there are more than 3,000 children and teens in the foster care and adoption system. And while most families want to adopt young children and babies, older children can bring joy, as well.

Diakon Adoption & Foster Care of South Central Pennsylvania has an office in York County. Advocates there work to ensure a good family fit for all as they try to place children with their new parents.

They support families as they navigate the adoption process — and beyond — to make the transition as smooth as possible.

It's affordable, too.

An informational session on foster care and adoption is slated for 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 29, at the Dover Community Library 3700 Davidsburg Road. For more information, visit

Raising a teenager isn't easy either. But if you are thinking of expanding your family, consider adopting an older child whose life you would surely change forever.

Read or Share this story: