Local News

Durham woman pens book on adopting older children

Posted December 26, 2011
Updated April 11, 2013

— It was the experience Jodi Tucker once had listening to a young man tell his story of being adopted as an older child that had her sending her husband, Jerry, a life-changing text.

"I actually sent him a text that said, 'I think there are more children in your future,'" she said. "He texted me back and said, 'Please call me.'"

At the time, the Durham couple already had a biological daughter, 19-year-old MacKenzie, and 16-year-old Olivia, whom they adopted as an infant. Last year, though, they adopted three cousins – Agnes, 15, Ruth, 13, and Nathan, 8 – from Uganda.

Their work in the Triangle with the African Children's Choir – a group made up largely of orphans from Uganda – connected them to that country. The orphanage there connected them to the three children.

"People are always like, 'You must be such a wonderful person. You must be such a good mother. You must be so organized," Tucker said. "I'm like, 'No, I'm an ordinary person. I've made lots of mistakes.'"

Tucker adoption Adoptive mom paves way for others

That, in part, is why she wrote "Fasten Your Sweet Belt," a book about her experiences and advice that she says she wish she had known when she and her husband decided to adopt older children.

Plenty of books are available on adopting babies, Tucker said, but she found very few on adopting older children.

Agnes also writes a section about her adoption story and why she wants to help other children who also need adopting.

"There's nothing special about us," Tucker said. "We're just regular people. We just wanted these kids to have a family. That's really all kids want is a family."


This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • dssledge Dec 27, 2011

    As a foster parent for 25yrs. There are many children desperate for a home they can call there own. When people go over seas to adopt that is just telling these children they aren't worth peoples time and it won't get them noticed in the media. I have five adopted children from right here in Wake county and can not understand why people don't atleast try locally they might be suprised.

  • jmt55 Dec 27, 2011

    From the husband of the author...please note that we do have a child adopted from the US as well as the children from Uganda. Also, my wife works diligently to find homes for Foster Care children in the US as well as with families adopting internationally. The need is global...and the need is great.

  • awood2 Dec 27, 2011

    I am glad that people do adpot children. There are a lot of children out there that need and want loving homes. The only thing I have a problem with is that they go out of the country to adopt a child instead of finding a loving child here in the USA. There are also plenty of children here that need and want loving homes. Don't get me wrong I think what these people are doing is great. I just wish somemore would do it here. Look at all these celebs going overseas and doing the same thing.

  • superman Dec 27, 2011

    I am aways surprised at the number of Americans who have to go out of their county to help others. Ms. Windfrey had to go to Africa to start a girls school and then these children were abused. Help your neighbor and dont go halfway around the world. I suspose she doesnt know that there are many children in this country that need a helping hand.

  • Mean Old Mom Dec 26, 2011

    Older children often have memories and strong attachments to their birth parents. And no matter how neglected or abused these children are, the bonds and loyalties to the birth parents are very strong. Anyone adopting older children should be willing to accept not just the child but the rest of that child's family especially in the Facebook era, where these kids often re-connect with their birth families. And this is not always a good thing.

  • FragmentFour Dec 26, 2011

    Actually, it's incredibly difficult to adopt an older child in the US. The set-up of Social Services is channeled in the opposite direction.

    The rewards of receiving an older child, however, are incredible. Their needs and individual quirks are much greater, and so is the joy they bring. Weare8 is correct on one point - ALL children deserve a loving forever family.

  • weare8 Dec 26, 2011

    It is great to adopt older children who really need a family, but I wonder if people know how man older children need to be adopted in this country who are in foster care looking for a family. Regardless of where a child is adopted from ALL children deserve a loving "forever family".