Triangle and Pitt County Areas | Are you interested in fostering or adopting?
We have information sessions to answer your questions about fostering and adopting through Methodist Home for Children.
RSVP is required: Call 888.305.4321, ext.6, or email FosterandAdopt@mhfc.org.
On the agenda:
• What it means to be a foster parent.
• What the training & licensing process is all about.
• What types of children are referred to our foster care / adoption program.
• Dates for our next MAPP training class.
• Jan. 14, online; 6:30 to 8 p.m.
• March 16, online; 6:30 to 8 p.m.
• May 20, online; 6:30 to 8 p.m.
Remember to RSVP at FosterandAdopt.mhfc.org!
The place won’t open for 30 minutes but cars are already lining up. Inside, Kamryn stacks empty buckets, getting the ice cream shop ready. This is his first real job and it’s important to him. “I’m saving for a car,” he says. “Right now I’m looking at a Toyota 4Runner, but that could change.”
“His first car will probably be our old Pontiac out there.”
That dad comment comes from Jeff. And even though he and Marie have been Kamryn’s parents for only a few months, all three are comfortable in their roles – and they’re happy.
Like so many others, Marie and Jeff came to us in hopes of fostering or adopting children. Young children. Toddlers. “From the beginning we said ‘no teenagers,’ ” Jeff says. “But the first weekend Kamryn came for a respite visit – and the rest, as they say, is history.”
History. Kamryn’s now includes Marie, Jeff, six cats, and Grace, the dog. Their story together will stretch far beyond Kamryn’s last two years of high school and well into the future. It will include the college years, career choices, marriage advice, and – someday – maybe even grandchildren.
As they talk about what it means to become a family at this stage, Jeff says, “Kamryn has a good head on his shoulders. We are here to help provide boundaries, keep him on track.”
Marie adds, “I think he’s further along than a lot of people his age. He knows what he wants to accomplish in the next few years and he has a big-picture mentality of his future.”
Life is a song.
Music is his love language.
Shemar has a tune on his lips and a song for everything: His plastic tools – there’s a song for his wrench when he “fixes” things around the house – and the lotion his dad rubs on after bath-time.
“You can get him excited about anything if you make up a song about it,” his dad, Jeremy, laughs. “He’s adorable,” says Jadie, his mom. “And he knows how cute he is, too.”
Shemar came to Jeremy and Jadie three years ago – not long after their boys started asking when they’d get a baby, since their preschool friends were getting siblings. At 2 years old, Shemar was not the baby Davis and Kannon expected – but he was old enough to wrestle, and that was a plus.
Besides tumbling with his brothers, Shemar loves family dance parties and jumping on the trampoline. His adoption was finalized earlier this year, so he has a big extended family with grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and – because there’s always room for love – his birth mother and younger sister.
Facing the Unknown
Your first child is born, and you discover that your heart can love in a new gear; one you’d never imagined. Your world shifts to this tiny person and her every first move.
It’s bliss. And it’s frightening.
Margo and Ken were as prepared as any new parents could be when Adelind arrived seven years ago. They are planners and doers, and they knew what to expect – until none of it went as expected.
Adelind had unexplained illnesses as a baby, including pneumonia. Her body was floppy even by infant standards; at 6 months she started to miss milestones for normal development. Delays were diagnosed by her doctor, but nothing explained why – or if and when she would catch up.
Her first-time parents were overwhelmed by the unknowns. But fortunately for Adelind, her mother is “persistent as all get-out.” Margo placed Adelind at our Jordan Center when she was 1½ years old and pushed on for an answer to her child’s global developmental delays.
The answer was not something we could provide as early childhood educators. We didn’t know why Adelind couldn’t speak or make sounds, or why she struggled to control her movements. But we could provide this – a team that loved and encouraged Adelind and her parents. We became family and helped tackle their issues together, making Adelind’s classroom a welcoming home away from home and sharing strategies for parenting and therapies.
It took two rounds of genetic testing before Margo and Ken got their answer: Adelind was born with a mild case of Kleefstra Syndrome, a condition so underdiagnosed at the time that only 500 cases worldwide had been confirmed.
Today, Adelind talks a blue streak, and she has no self-consciousness about expressing herself in her own way. She makes up stories and acts them out on the spot. She reads above grade level and, to the delight of her “word nerd” mother, spells like a champ.
“We set out from the beginning – obviously every parent does – to have a child that is healthy, happy, and lives independently,” Margo says. “We’re still aiming for those three things, to help her be the very best she can be, and the foundation that was built for her at the Jordan Center is just amazing.”
Give Joseph some encouragement! Use the Leave a Reply field, below.
Before he had ever ridden in a plane, he knew. He’d watch them fly overhead and feel a thrill all the way through his bones. When he grew up, he decided, he was going to be a pilot. He was going to fly.
But life is bumpy.
While he was still a teen, Joseph found himself in our care. Parts of him were broken, dreams cast aside, a future no longer imaginable.
How do you heal that?
We know that goals guide and motivate behavior. Research shows that goal setters see future possibilities. In life, they are the ones who soar.
One day, Joseph confided to our counselor about his long ago dream. As they talked, his energy expanded. He became animated, engaged and – for the first time, really – she saw the man he could become.
And so it was that on a beautiful summer day, we took Joseph for his first flying lesson. He learned the basics, reviewed the flight plan, walked through the checklist, then – along with his instructor and our counselor – he
climbed in, buckled up, and took flight.
It lasted only an hour, but it was enough. His dream was back and this time, it felt attainable.
As he flew over the Crystal Coast, Joseph saw a world full of beauty and opportunity. He began to understand that life can be hard but it can also offer a second chance. And he stepped off the plane with a goal: He would do the work and make something positive of his life. He would join the military and become a pilot. He would soar.
Iris Herring has seen it all working in a group home. There is pain – with parents who put their own wants before their children’s needs, or kids who can’t see their own worth and potential. But there is also purpose, resolve, and love.
Children come to our group homes when they’re in trouble at school, or running away, or involved in drugs or gangs. They stay for six to eight months, and it is Iris’ job to help them and their families plan for what’s next. How best to get these kids back home, using what they’ve learned, without the bad influences or toxic family dynamics that caused their problems in the first place?
After 27 years in direct care, Iris will retire at the end of August. You can read some of her thoughts and memories here – and please leave her a message at the bottom of the page!
On children we serve:
They need love, just like everybody else. They need to know that you care.
They need discipline. And even though they pretend they don’t want the discipline and the structure – they really do want it. We can hear their conversations in the home. They want somebody to care enough to put a rule down or put some structure and discipline down.
They also need the truth. We found out here they want you to tell them the truth. Whatever it is.
They need to know that you won’t give up on them. No matter what they do, we will always be there. We will not give up. Because a lot of them feel like, “I messed up.” We say, “We’re going to work through this. You’re going to have a consequence; however we are still not going to give up on you.” They need to hear that.
On families we serve:
[Iris works with children and Everybody is the same – they have needs, just like everybody else. They want their children to succeed, just like everybody else.
A couple of favorite memories:
Thanksgiving meals, with families gathered around the table all saying how thankful they were.
And the Easter egg hunt and family fun day – watching families team together to have fun. No one out there is wearing a label, and nobody is worried about who has an offense. It’s just people, just pushing through – trying to get the last seat in the musical chairs. Because they would push you down to make sure they got the seat at musical chairs – it was serious! Then the children in the bounce houses. And grandmamas losing their wigs when they raced in the goofy-wear race. Everybody was laughing. The grandmamas too.
Jordan Child & Family Enrichment Center | 1305 Glenwood Ave., Raleigh NC 27605
If you have a kindergartener, and you need a safe place where your child can learn, we can help.
Our 5-star Jordan Center in Raleigh is expanding class space for kindergarten students.
One class has been filled – but we are taking applications now for a second.
Two options are open:
• direct kindergarten instruction by certified Birth-Kindergarten teachers
• support and supervision for kindergarteners enrolled in Virtual Academy through Wake County Public Schools
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to apply or ask questions.
Our record –
For 21 years we’ve been preparing preschoolers for kindergarten. When they leave the Jordan Center, a full 100% of children with typical development meet or exceed expectations for kindergarten readiness. We will use a standardized curriculum and Teaching Strategies Gold – a developmental continuum (ages birth to 6) that aligns with Common Core objectives – to engage and prepare your kindergartener for 1st grade success.
When John came to us, he was 14 years old and hadn’t been in a classroom for years. In fact, we searched and never found middle school records for him. Testing revealed he was working barely above an elementary grade level.
John was angry and discouraged when we met, and we understood. He was living unparented in a house without regular meals or clothes for school. He’d lost his mom when he was 4 and his father, remarried, was in and out of his life, serving time in prison or traveling to construction jobs.
We knew John needed a lot of help academically – but before that could happen, he needed to know somebody believed in him. That’s where Ms. Mary begins her work. She’s the full-time teacher in his group home, and she understands how kids like John are resigned to failure, afraid to try. “We all told him you can do this,” Mary says. “You can do this. Every day we said, we are going to make sure that you have food to eat, you have clothes to wear, you have a shower, you are going to school – and you are going to do what you need to do.”
Mary started by giving John work she knew he could handle. “When he realized he could do it, he got that success experience. He lost a little bit of his fear. Then he tried something else and moved up, building on that success and starting to believe in himself.”
John is in high school now, with plans to go to culinary school – and we are delighted to see him working toward a dream. It’s because of you that children like John are able to learn, love, and discover their God-given talents. Your compassion, prayer, and gifts give them hope.