Tag Archives: Adoption

A Different New Years Resolution: Finding Edwin a Home

The Greaney Family is already working on their 2012 New Years Resolution – to find a forever home for Edwin. Edwin is an 11-year old boy from Bogota, Colombia who is spending three weeks in Easton with the Greaneys as part of Kidsave International’s Winter Miracles Program.

Kidsave International is a global organization that advocates for and supports the adoption of older children in orphanages and foster care. Host families like the Greaneys welcome a Kidsave child into their home and then use their networks, circles of influence, and the local media to introduce children like Edwin to a family that will adopt them.

“We’re essentially Edwin’s PR agents,” explains Betsy Greaney.“Our job is to tell his story and introduce him to as many people as we can in the short time he is here in the hopes that someone will be inspired to welcome him into their family permanently.”

Edwin was initially placed in Colombian foster care with his brother and sister and now in 2008. He lives in an orphanage with a social worker and 25 other children approximately the same age. After their first visit to the United States with Kidsave in Houston, the organization was unable to find a home for all three children and throughout the course of the past year Edwin’s brother and sister have been adopted separately, leaving Edwin still looking for a forever home.

Edwin arrived in Easton on December 23rd, one week later than expected, so the Greaneys are working double-time on Edwin’s PR campaign. After a hectic Christmas Eve and Christmas schedule, Edwin is fitting right in with the Greaneys’ three sons and days have been filled with neighborhood games of soccer, basketball, and pizza.

“What a brave, selfless child,” Greaney remarks. “Each day we see more and more of Edwin’s spirit and personality from singing in the house, pitching in with chores, and even mischievous practical jokes. He is an absolute joy.”

Edwin continues his busy schedule after the holidays and will be participating in the Talbot County Youth Basketball League, trying his hand at ice hockey, and spending a day at Easton Elementary School and the Country School. Generous community members have also donated medical and dental check-ups, and a professional photography session. Many others have offered their assistance in getting the word out about Edwin by posting flyers and sharing Edwin’s story by word of mouth and through their own social networks.

“With less than two weeks to find Edwin a forever home, the clock is ticking,” explains Greaney. “We hope that anyone who hears about Edwin will share his story with their friends and family so that as many people possible can learn about this wonderful boy and consider making him part of their family. Every child needs someone to make them eat their vegetables, brush their teeth and tuck them in at night – Edwin is no exception.”

To learn more about what Edwin is up to while in Easton, how to meet him or get more information about adoption, visit www.easternshorekidsave.wordpress.com, or contact Betsy Greaney at betsygreaney@gmail.com.

Caldwell Named 2011 Adoptive Parent of the Year

This month, Sharon Caldwell was named by the Talbot County Department of Social Services as the adoptive parent of the year. When Sharon of Easton decided to become a foster parent, after raising a daughter of her own, little did she know that she would end up adopting two beautiful girls, Trinity and Naiobi. The sisters’ adoption was finalized on March 28, 2011.

Caldwell comments that her love of children and a desire to help the community was her motivation in becoming a licensed foster parent for Talbot County Department of Social Services in October 1991. During the 20 years that Ms. Caldwell has been licensed as a foster parent, she has provided a home for a variety of children with multiple needs.

According to Susan Merriken, Foster Care and Adoption Supervisor at the Talbot County Department of Social Services, “Sharon was able to offer the girls emotional stability, commitment and love while at the same time allowing Trinity and Naiobi to maintain a relationship with their birth family.”

The adoption has become a family affair for Sharon, whose 27-year old daughter, Karen, helps care for the two sisters every other weekend when Sharon works as a care manager at Heartfields in Easton. Caldwell’s twin sister is also becoming licensed as a foster parent this year.

Caldwell adds, “I so enjoy us being a family together and doing family activities, whether it is getting ice cream or going to the park. The girls seem very happy and adjusted. Naiobi, age seven, is a Girl Scout and Trinity, age 9, plays soccer and enjoys drawing. It is wonderful to watch them grow up.”

For information about becoming a licensed foster/adoptive parent, contact the Talbot County Department of Social Services at 410-770-4848 or attend the regional information session for prospective foster/adoptive parents on Tuesday, December 13, 2011 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Talbot County Department of Social Services at 301 Bay Street, Unit #5 in Easton. The next nine-week P.R.I.D.E. Training at the Talbot County Department of Social Services begins January 4, 2011, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

In photo: Pictured left to right are Naiobi, Sharon and Trinity Caldwell. Sharon Caldwell was named the 2011 Adoptive Parent of the Year by the Talbot County Department of Social Services.

Wicomico Couple Joins Congressional Roster of ‘Adoption Angels’

By LAURA L. THORNTON
Capital News Service
HEBRON – Scott and Amy Ness thought they would start with foster care.

But the Wicomico County couple — who have three biological children — ended up adopting 10 children from two different sibling groups — and all in the past five years.

“We decided to put our money where our mouth was,” Scott Ness, 43, said.

The Nesses were recognized on Capitol Hill Wednesday morning as Angels in Adoption for their commitment to child welfare. They joined a group of 140 Angels from across the country who were nominated by members of Congress to receive the recognition.

“This wonderful family from the Eastern Shore of Maryland” didn’t want to split up the sibling groups, so they adopted all of the siblings, said Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., who nominated the Nesses.

Two other Marylanders — Andrea Faris Roberts of Gaithersburg and Wanda Manson of Oxen Hill — were nominated but were not present at Wednesday’s ceremony.

Roberts was nominated by Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Kensington, and Manson was nominated by Rep. Donna F. Edwards, D-Fort Washington.

Two years ago, while the Nesses were in the process of adopting twin boys, Bradley and Chad, now 4, they learned that the boys had five other siblings up for adoption, so they took them, too. When an eighth sibling was born and put up for adoption, they brought her home as well, the Nesses said.

The Nesses also privately adopted two other girls — half sisters Destiny, 5, and Tatiana, 3 — at birth. Their mother hadn’t wanted to abort them, so she contacted the Nesses instead.

Exceptions to the adoption policy had to be made so that the Nesses could adopt so many children, the couple said. Because eight of the children were from one sibling group, the children were allowed to stay together.

The Angels in Adoption program is now in its 12th year. Organized by the nonprofit Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute, it works with the 180-member Congressional Coalition on Adoption to “eliminate the barriers” to adoption, said Kathleen Strottman, the institute’s executive director.

“We believe children should be raised under the nurturing care of a family,” said Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., co-chairman of the Congressional coalition.

“Statistically speaking, it is possible for each and every child to have a safe and permanent family to call their own,” said Strottman in a press release.

“Because of Angels celebrated by this program,” she added, “we are much closer to achieving that goal.”

In Maryland, 457 children were eligible for adoption as of August, and about 8,000 children are in foster care, according to the state’s Department of Human Resources.

In the Nesses’ 3,500-square-foot Hebron farmhouse, space is tight with 13 children between the ages of 2 and 14, but organization, a good sense of humor and a strong religious faith help them along.

The family’s church, the Uprising Church at St. Paul’s in Hebron — a Christian church with about 800 members, has been very supportive of the Nesses’ large family, Scott Ness said.

One of the church’s members even pitched in to buy Scott Ness a new work truck so that the family could afford to privately adopt Tatiana.

Private adoption costs are expensive, said Strottman, although “most foster adoption costs are waived.” Tax credits are also available to adoptive parents.

But for all the “many challenges” that come with having a large family, “we enjoy it,” Amy Ness, 35, said.

“We love to laugh and love to just have a good time…. Every child deserves a family.”

Fletcher Named Adoptive Parent of the Year for Talbot County

Talbot County Department of Social Services recently recognized Deborah Fletcher of Cambridge as its adoptive parent of the year for 2009.  Fletcher became a treatment foster home in 2002 after her own three children were grown.   She now also has 13 grandchildren.

Fletcher’s love for children came from being part of a large family growing up, where children were always around.  She comments, “I saw the need for foster homes for children in the community and I wanted to give back in some way.”

As a Certified Nursing Assistant, Fletcher has a special set of skills and soon became drawn to children with special needs who needed additional medical care.  She adds, “I realized after I got into fostering that there were children who needed special help that I could provide.”

Fletcher adopted her 17-year old foster child, Keontae, on August 22, 2008, just three months prior to Keontae’s seventeenth birthday.  She had been Keontae’s foster mother since 2004.

According to Susan Merriken, Foster Care and Adoption Supervisor at the Talbot County Department of Social Services, “Although Keontae presented with many challenging personal and family issues, Ms. Fletcher was able to provide Keontae with a nurturing, structured and loving environment, while also working with her birth mother throughout the process.”

Merriken adds, “Keontae developed strong emotional ties with Ms. Fletcher and her extended family and expressed a strong desire to be adopted by her.”

Fletcher states, “I am thrilled to see how far Keontae has come. She is enrolled in a college culinary program and is doing very well.”

In addition to fostering teenagers, Fletcher has also adopted a two-year old, Nisaiah, and has plans to adopt one more.

She comments, “It can be challenging and takes a real commitment, but I love what I do.”

For further information about becoming a foster or adoptive parent in Talbot County, contact the Talbot County Department of Social Services at 410-770-4848.  An information session will be held on Friday, January 15, 2010 from 3:30 to 5 p.m. at the at the Talbot County Department of Social Services office at 301 Bay Street, Unit #5 in Easton.