July, 2013. It was a beautiful summer day, lakeside in Maine. Kaleb and Clara, brother and sister, were playing in the water, jumping off the dock, smiling, being happy. Kaleb and Clara lived in foster care at the time. Watching them, you would have never known what these children had been through in their short lives, and how much they had lost. They laughed and played and swam, non-stop. The kids were visiting the lake with a respite foster parent, the person who provides support for foster parents.
That fateful day Kaleb and Clara met their future Mom and Dad, unbeknownst to anyone at the time. Deb and Mark were also at the lake. Deb was the cousin of the respite foster parent. They enjoyed playing and swimming with Kaleb and Clara in the summer sunshine. Kaleb and Clara made an impression. Several months later, although only seeing them that once, Deb and Mark found themselves both thinking about the children.
They felt something.
They were moved.
After contacting the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, they participated in the home-study process and began visits with Kaleb and Clara. Deb and Mark would drive several hours each weekend to visit with the children. They re-arranged their work schedules, set up the kids’ bedrooms, and reached out for support to help with the transition.
Kaleb and Clara moved into their forever home in June of 2014, and were happily adopted in May of this year. Kaleb remarked that is was the “best day” of his life.
This is a story of second chances. A story of celebration. November is National Adoption Month, a great time to be reminded of the true magic of adoption. Though Deb and Mark would likely not claim that adopting has been easy, they say that it is the best decision they have ever made. Kaleb and Clara are flourishing: doing well in school, sports, and with friends. With their new parents’ love and care, Kaleb and Clara have the chance to grow up with certainty and confidence. And, they have the chance to be children.
There are many families in Maine that are brought together through adoption, and yet still more children waiting for their forever family. If you have questions about becoming a foster/adoptive parent, you can find answers:
Call: Rana O’Connor, Resource Coordinator, Spurwink Treatment Foster Care Program at Spurwink’s
LINK line: 1-888-889-3903.
Website information request: Spurwink Treatment Foster Care information
Maine state recruitment site: http://fostercare.com/a-family-for-me/
Curious? Complete an inquiry form online at www.spurwink.org/fostercare.
By Shannon Preston, LCSW
Spurwink Treatment Foster Care Supervisor