Mark and James, a sibling pair, entered the Pennsylvania child welfare system in 2009 after being removed from the care of their biological family for child neglect. For one year, the siblings transitioned to three different Tabor Children’s Services (Tabor) foster homes. In 2010, Mark and James were referred to Tabor for child-focused recruitment through the Wendy’s Wonderful Kids program. Throughout the year, Tabor worked to recruit the perfect forever family for them. In January 2012, Mr. and Mrs. K. expressed their interest in adoption and the sibling pair. The family learned about the children at a matching party that highlighted children in need of forever families.
The adoption team at Tabor worked alongside the family to ensure Mr. And Mrs. K would be able to parent and advocate for the children as their permanent family. Prior to interacting with Mark and James, Mr. and Mrs. K. were required to participate in a comprehensive training that prepared them to parent and provide supports to children that endured grief, loss, and trauma. After successfully completing the training, the family began interacting with Mark and James, fell in love, and started the process to become their new family.
The road to becoming pre-adoptive parents was not easy for Mr. and Mrs. K. The couple lacked experience parenting children, but knew they wanted to give back to their community by serving as a resource for disenfranchised youth. The adoption team at Tabor supported the soon to be forever family by meeting with each of them on a weekly basis; they did this to help prepare each individual and ensure the children were successfully integrated into the family. The team provided extensive trainings on forging connections with the boys and provided unique supports and direction. At times of difficulty, the team was available to provide the appropriate guidance, make recommendations, and truly advocate for the family to ensure the adoption would result in a success story for the entire family.
After months of learning the unique needs of the siblings, the family demonstrated they were prepared to parent the children without the assistance of the adoption team. In May 2013, Mr. and Mrs. K. officially adopted Mark and James. After the finalization, Mark was observed crying tears of joy for finally receiving a family that knew would love him and his brother forever.
Mark and James’s story continues a quarterly series from Tabor Children’s Services. Our Success Stories series is an additional way we are communicating with our friends and donors about the agency’s social work efforts. Each quarter we feature one of our programs and the inspiring story of a child, youth or family with children whom the program has helped. To add your address to the Success Stories email list, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.