By Jaynelle Smith, Treatment Foster Care Coordinator
Brenda and Russell Gordon started taking care of their grandchildren in 2014 when it became clear that the children’s parents were unable to care for them. When the two boys, aged 8 months and 9 years, moved in to their home, the Gordon’s discovered that both children had medical concerns that needed to be immediately addressed. They spent countless hours traveling to and from medical appointments with various specialists to ensure the boys’ stability and good health.
Two years later, Brenda and Russell received the good news that they would soon become the adoptive parents of their two beautiful grandsons, now aged 3 and 11. During the critical transition period, the family began working with Spurwink’s Treatment Foster Care program to accomplish health and behavioral goals for each of the boys. As Brenda and Russell patiently waited a final decision from the court, Spurwink provided weekly services in the home to help with the boys’ needs.
In May of 2017, Brenda received the call she and her husband had been waiting for – the boys were finally free to be legally adopted. The Gordon’s made a Christmas wish to finalize their grandson’s adoption; a mission that would guide the team’s focus for the remainder of the year. The Assistant Attorney General and the boys’ DHHS caseworker advocated for the adoption to be scheduled prior to Christmas of 2017.
The morning of the adoption, just a few days before Christmas, the youngest boy woke at 5:00am excitedly jumping out of bed and exclaiming, “Today is the day that I will be Channing Wayne Gordon, I so excited”. As the family gathered with loved ones in the hallway of the courthouse, the oldest boy said, “Finally, I stay forever”.
On December 22, 2017, surrounded by family, friends, Spurwink staff, mental health workers, DHHS workers, teachers and other members of their support team, the Gordon’s accomplished the final chapter in their journey. Tears of joy flowed through the courtroom for this beautiful family as they met with the judge to sign the papers and legalize the adoption. Judge Dow addressed the two young boys with their new parents and joyfully said, “Thank you for making my day, as this will be my last court meeting before Christmas”.
Though the journey proved to be long and often challenging, with support from Spurwink and other members of their care team, the family finally received their Christmas wish to officially become The Gordon Family.
To learn more about Spurwink’s Treatment Foster Care program, please visit: https://spurwink.org/foster-care/