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Wednesday’s Child

Abby, Jerry, Christine, Andrea and Tammy are delightful siblings who need the opportunity to grow up together. Their caseworker exclaims, “These kids are fabulous! I’ve spent a lot of time with them and they always keep me laughing. When I am with them, I can’t wipe the smile off my face. I think a family could easily fall in love with these kids and want to parent them.”

Abby is pretty easygoing and adaptable, with a good sense of humor and a great smile. She is very athletic and enjoys playing tackle football, listening to music, and playing video games. Abby is a fun kid who gets along well with others. Jerry is enthusiastic, active and loves to play outside. He is quite sensitive, yet fun-loving, and loves to play video games and football. An avid and adoring University of Oregon football fan, his dream is to play for the Oregon Ducks someday! A social guy, Jerry likes to hang out with his friends. Christine is outgoing, affectionate, also with a good sense of humor. She enjoys playing with other kids and likes to sing, do crafts, and go to the movies. She is bright and funny and tends to be motherly toward her younger sisters. Andrea is sweet and affectionate. She likes to make sure that everyone knows what everyone else is doing. Arts and crafts as well as playing outside on her scooter and bicycle are favorite pastimes. Andrea really responds well to praise from adults. Tammy is a happy, affectionate little girl who smiles easily and often, and sings while she plays. She gets along well with others, but can be very sensitive. Tammy, who loves Barbie dolls and imaginative play, enjoys singing and dancing, doing arts and crafts, and playing outdoors on her swing set and scooter.

Legally free, all five children came into foster care most recently in late 2010. After some initial separations and moves, they were placed with foster families where they did well for more than a year. After experiencing a very brief and recent adoptive placement that was not the right match, the children are now in a familiar foster home together and doing well.

The family chosen to adopt these siblings needs to be open to mediating some level of post adoption contact with the children’s birth parents (this is especially important for Abby and Jerry). Oregon DHS will examine adoption mediation with the adoptive parents and the birth family to better assess what level of contact would be appropriate and workable. The adoptive home that will be the best fit for these children will have parents who understand and respect the children’s very different needs and personalities, and are able to make each child feel special. The children need to learn early on that their adoptive folks can and will meet their basic, educational, and medical needs, including the need to feel safe and have safe adults around them. Lots of nurturing and unconditional love amidst a very consistent and structured home environment will be essential in helping them settle in. The children need to know that their adoptive folks will take care of them and will not use the older children to help with parenting. Very clear and firm rules, limits, and expectations will help the siblings feel secure.

Abby works hard and wants to do well in school. An IEP is helping her with reading and writing, and she has supports in place to help her focus and be successful. Abby will likely need ongoing support and advocacy in school to continue catching up. Jerry is at grade level and improving in his speech with some assistance from an IEP. Christine is making progress in catching up in her reading skills. Well-liked at school by teachers and her peers, she takes pride in being rewarded for her accomplishments. Andrea, who applies herself and responds well to positive attention, has pretty much caught up to grade level. Tammy really enjoys and does well in school.

The kids have all the usual sibling ups and downs. They love each other and bicker, and sometimes they want to live together and at other times they don’t. Abby resents that the younger kids expect her to be a substitute parent, and Jerry complains that he has only sisters – but is also protective of them.

Abby is fun to spend time with, but can struggle to stay upbeat. Jerry is sensitive and feels life can be unfair at times. Christine can quietly challenge rules (such as not bringing her homework home for several days) even though she knows the consequences. Andrea can be impulsive and doesn’t always think before she acts. Tammy doesn’t always let adults know important things (i.e. if she gets hurt) but she does let them know when she feels sick. It is important for prospective adoptive families to understand that all of these children are strong-willed and require very good supervision and lots of individual attention.

Only Abby and Jerry are currently in counseling. They are torn between their connection to their birth parents and the need to form new attachments with new parents. Abby is also working through the feelings that come with being a preteen. There are no concerns that the children won’t be able to transition to a new home and treatment program, only that permanency very soon is critical, particularly for Jerry. Christine, Andrea, and Tammy may eventually need counseling to help them adjust to adoption, or as there are other major changes in their lives.

The children need a family open to helping them learn more about their Native American heritage. While they are not eligible for tribal enrollment, they lived on a reservation for a time and take pride in their heritage.

These kids are going to bring great joy to the very lucky family who is chosen to adopt them!

Abby, Jerry, Christine, Andrea & Tammy are available for adoption through the State of Oregon. For contact information the call Idaho Careline 1-800-926-2588.

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