Eric and David Stearns came to know Spurwink’s foster care program in 2014. They had a goal of becoming a permanent home for a young man named Ethan, who they had met through their work at Spurwink. After completing the licensing process with DHHS, they were granted a license and affiliated with Spurwink’s Treatment Foster Care Program. Shortly after, Ethan came to live with them in Mechanic Falls. A strong commitment to foster care prompted them to appear in a TV spot that continues to air, recruiting others to become foster families—particularly for older children. We wondered how the Stearns are faring, five years later.
Eric and David marvel at the progress Ethan has made since coming to live with them nearly five years ago. For one, he has grown taller than either of his dads! He attends school in Lewiston and enjoys spending time in the community. Having outgrown their home in Mechanic Falls, the family moved to a larger home—partly to support their goal of growing their family.
Once they knew Ethan was doing well in their family, Eric and David began to consider adding a second child to the home. They had always wanted more than one child, but knew it had to be the right fit. Their Spurwink case manager Anneliese became aware of a child on her caseload that needed a home. She arranged an informal meeting and the Stearns felt certain that with stability and love he had the potential to join their family. When he moved in, they had to navigate a number of behaviors and work with his school to provide the support he needed to succeed. They are happy to report he is flourishing academically. They hope he will find value in education and explore a passion for computers and technology, and have begun discussing post high school educational goals! With two boys, David found a new position at work and now works 15 minutes from home. Eric is a stay at home parent, indulging a love of the outdoors and a passion for photography.
The Stearns credit Spurwink with providing support and consistency for their family. Their older son, who has transitioned to adult services, continues to receive services through Spurwink’s adult program. Additionally, their goal of adding a second child to the family was met; their Spurwink case manager, mindful of the mix of personalities, saw the potential for a child on her caseload to join the family. The Stearns expect to adopt him this fall.
Looking back, Eric and David remember how most people at the initial foster care training hoped to take very young children. They note, “It is important to remember there are children of all ages that need stability and love, and we couldn’t be more fortunate with our two children.”
Click here to learn more about Spurwink’s Treatment Foster Care program
Click here to see TV ad #1 featuring The Stearns (desktop only)
Click here to see TV ad #2 featuring The Stearns (desktop only)