Craig and Deb's
And why not a foster kid? I went to Boston on an automotive related political issue to talk to my elected state representative. While I was there (long before we adopted Mike) I asked how many foster kids were given back to their bio-parents after a foster care adoption was finalized. Zero was the answer. What about Child Jessica, that over publicized adoption in Florida where the Judge gave the child back to the bio-mom, what about that I asked? After a little bit of work on my part, it was clear that the adoptive mom had lied and conspired to get a child by by-passing the rules. A very rare case that had nothing to do with foster care.
old and unknown to us, he was separated by his biological brother. His bio-mother was in prison and his bio-father had died. No family members came forward to help the young boys so foster parents Ed and Anna, were great but they were only temporary. He moved in at 5 years old and today he is a handsome 29-year-old. Mike is a lot like his Dad. In 2000 we heard William and got to know him. He was a very troubled teenager and needed a lot of intervention. He is the reason why FAAT CATS exists today.
Craig and Deb Van Batenburg are a married couple living in Worcester, Massachusetts. After 3 years of marriage (1992) and no pregnancy, adoption was the topic of conversation. Having no reliable information to base any decisions on and the news media scaring us away from foster care adoption we talked about adopting internationally. Why? We felt that the bio-parents would not come back and snatch out kids away from us and it might be easier (although more expensive). We chose China and Russia because I had two Russian technicians at my repair shop and Deb had been to China on a vacation a few years back. Now there are some solid reasons! After attending a few adoption meetings and visiting an open house at an International adoption agency we were lost in all the options and needed to take a break. While Deb was away on business I stopped at Wendy's to grab a burger. It was served to me on a red plastic tray with a paper place mat and on it a phone number to call and these words "Can You Find A Place in Your Heart for These Children?" I folded it up and went back to work thinking about what had just happened. An accident? A meaningless gesture by a large food chain to attract more business? Or was my Spirit calling me that late summer day in 1994. I did know that Dave Thomas, the founder of Wendy's was adopted and that made a difference to me, so I called the number on the place mat. After a few minutes on the phone with MARE (Mass. Adoption Resource Exchange) Deb and I were enrolled in a class called MAPP (Massachusetts Approach to Parenting in Partnership). This class was 10 weeks long, one night a week and that gave Deb and I the time to take a thorough look at foster care adoption, our marriage, the type of kids in foster care, support services, and the changes it would make in out lives. As older (and wiser adults) we knew that foster care was not just for us, but an obligation to our country, out way of American life.
In the USA, a foster care adoption, once finalized is a done deal. So much for that worry. I wondered to myself (I didn't want to talk about this and offend those that chose international adoption) why is adoption so expensive? Tens of thousands spent on adoption fees for most adoptions from foreign countries. Legal Fees. and Paper work were standard answers. Our son Mike was first to get adopted Deb's Mom, Lillian, saw a picture of Mike in the MARE listing book in Boston at the MARE office. Mike was 4 years
It is clear that children that linger in foster care have a much harder time adjusting to family life than a young boy like Mike. Will did not do well in the beginning but he did have a family and hope. He is now 35 and on his way to success. He still had many years left in his life to find his way. If you do not do something to help, who will? No government program can fix this. Money thrown at the problem cannot by itself fix it. It takes a family. Plain and Simple. FAAT CATS helps foster kids find homes.