Over 30,000 children and youth in the Canadian foster care system are currently seeking forever families and, unfortunately, many age out of care. However, partnerships between organizations such as AdoptOntario, Wendy’s Wonderful Kids Recruiters and Children’s Aid Societies across Ontario have led to the creation of a number of loving and supportive forever families.
One such family that was created by this partnership was the LeBrun family. Liz LeBrun was a twenty-nine-year-old single woman who was seeking to adopt a child with special needs from the foster care system. Using the AdoptOntario Photolisting website, Liz came across the profile of Maria, a charming five-year-old girl who was in need of a forever family. After reading her profile and speaking with AdoptOntario Clinical Coordinators, Liz knew that it was meant to be.
“Sometimes it’s just those moments when something seems right and you go with your gut feeling, and I’m so glad that I did,” said Liz.
The Adoption Council of Ontario’s (ACO) Executive Director Pat Convery remembers this family very clearly, and how Maria and Liz came to be in contact with AdoptOntario.
“I first met Maria at the Toronto Children’s Aid Society as a one-year-old who presented with a number of different special needs,” said Pat. “I remember the comments about her 'unadoptableness'. She stole my heart. I saw her again when I took the role of Director of Adoption Council of Ontario and she was added to the AdoptOntario Photolisting website. I was so excited when Liz connected with our Clinical Coordinator to inquire about adopting Maria!”
Liz, with the help of AdoptOntario and Wendy’s Wonderful Kids Recruiters, moved forward with adopting Maria. “I saw Maria’s profile, and because I have a background in special education, I knew I could offer her some things that would be helpful to her.”
After the adoption was finalized, Liz was informed that Maria had a biological brother named Andy who, after also being featured on the AdoptOntario Photolisting website, was seeking a forever family. The siblings had never met, however the Wendy’s Wonderful Kids Recruiters working with Andy were able to facilitate meetings between the siblings. Through these meetings, Maria and Andy were able to bond and, after a number of meetings, Liz was finally able to finalize her adoption of Andy.
The staff at the Adoption Council of Ontario and AdoptOntario were all so pleased to hear about the adoption. “Maria and Andy are both amazing children,” said Pat, “and they truly show the power of family so beautifully.”
The LeBrun family story not only shows the power of family, but also shows how partnerships between organizations can lead to amazing outcomes for both children in the foster care system and families looking to adopt them.
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