Stories of Impact

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Taye, Kemarquez and Kiondre’s Adoption Story - Stories of Impact Nov 30, 2021

Ohio - Important. Loved. Happy. These are the feelings described by siblings Taye, KeMarquez and Kiondre after being adopted by empty-nesters Carla and Oliver in Ohio. But the brothers didn’t always feel that way. Placed in foster care after being abandoned in a hotel room, the children spent several years — often separated — waiting for a forever family. “I remember when I thought I was too old to be adopted and that nobody wanted me,” recalls 15-year-old Taye, the eldest of his brothers. “I couldn’t really think of my future … I just wanted to get through the day.” Thankfully, the journey changed for Taye, 12-year-old KeMarquez and 7-year-old Kiondre, who were adopted during the pandemic with help from the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption and their Wendy’s Wonderful Kids recruiter, Angela. Wendy’s Wonderful Kids recruiters work with smaller caseloads to ensure that each child receives the time, resources and support they deserve. Read More

An Update on Serenity and Kai’s Story - Stories of Impact Oct 25, 2021

Canada - In 2021, the Foundation had a chance to visit with the family again to hear how things are going. John was eager to reflect on how adoption has changed the journey for Serenity in ways that many said were not possible. “When she graduated from SK, she actually did the procession with the rest of her class,” said John. “To see her walk with her typical class was one of my proudest moments.” “She’s able to go up and down stairs on her own, she takes off her own jacket and shoes now,” reflects Kathryn. “These are things we were told would just never happen. Eight years in, I can see the changes in her, and I think for Serenity, adoption has given her the chance to feel comfortable and to thrive and to have a chance to let her personality come out a lot more.” Read More

2021 Highlights from Rita Soronen - Stories of Impact Oct 25, 2021

For more than 25 years, the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption has been committed to dramatically increasing the number of adoptions of children waiting in North America’s foster care systems. In the 2019 annual report, we are pleased to highlight the signature programs, partnerships and awareness-building efforts that are helping to achieve our vision: every child will have a permanent home and loving family. Read More

Building Fund Donors - Stories of Impact Oct 21, 2021

The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption is pleased to recognize our Building Fund Campaign donors who generously gave $10,000 or more to help with the build-out and ongoing management of our new forever home. Read More

Supporter Spotlights of 2021 - Stories of Impact Oct 21, 2021

The following individuals represent the growing number of generous donors who are passionately helping to advance the Foundation’s mission. We are pleased to share some of the many reasons they support this critical work. Read More

The Freedom to Dream Big: Conner’s Story - Stories of Impact Aug 23, 2021

North Carolina - Placed in foster care when he was 7, Conner spent nearly half of his young life longing for a permanent place to call home. “I moved a bunch. I really didn’t want to move that much. I didn’t think I could have a family,” he shared. Fortunately, Conner was adopted at age 12 by James and Jayme through the Foundation’s Wendy’s Wonderful Kids program and has the comfort and security he deserves. Read More

Anthony’s Story: An Adoptee’s Journey to Discover His Past - Stories of Impact Apr 28, 2021

Anthony Onesto, Chief People Officer at Suzy, was adopted as an infant and shares our belief that every child deserves a permanent home and a loving family. Now on a journey to discover his past, Anthony is telling his story to help raise awareness about adoption and the unique experiences that adoptees face. Read More

Charlie’s Journey As A Wendy’s Wonderful Kids® Adoption Recruiter - Stories of Impact Mar 30, 2021

Washington — Adopted as an infant, Charlie realized in college that his dream career would be to help find permanent, loving families for other children in need. Today, he is living that dream as a Wendy’s Wonderful Kids® adoption recruiter in Washington. Through our Wendy’s Wonderful Kids program, the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption supports the hiring of recruiters, like Charlie, who serve youth in foster care who are most often overlooked, including teenagers, children with special needs and siblings. Read More

A Forever Family for Austin - Stories of Impact Mar 15, 2021

Placed in foster care at age 8, Austin spent the next three years longing for the security and stability of a permanent home. Fortunately, Austin’s journey changed with help from his Wendy’s Wonderful Kids adoption recruiter, Chelsey. Austin says adoption means he finally has a family who will help him along the way through life’s ups and downs. “I’m happier,” he shares. “I have a family, I have friends, and I can be myself.” Read More

A Forever Family for Zach - Stories of Impact Jan 28, 2021

West Virginia — Some of Zach’s earliest memories are of living in dirty motels with little food and no clean clothes. For five long years, he moved between his biological family and foster care with no permanent place to call home. Fortunately, his journey changed when he was adopted at age 11 through our Wendy’s Wonderful Kids program. Now 19, Zach is thriving in college on a full scholarship. Read More