Each year, the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption celebrates the outstanding service of our Wendy’s Wonderful Kids (WWK) adoption recruiters, who work tirelessly to find loving, permanent homes for children waiting to be adopted from foster care across the United States and Canada. In 2018, we recognized Tasha Huffaker and Nicole Buie.
Tasha Huffaker (Utah)
Tasha helped find a loving family for a boy who immigrated to the United States from South Korea. He entered foster care due to abuse and neglect and remained in the foster care system after his father was deported. Tasha lived three hours from his foster family, but she made that drive regularly to build a relationship with the child and find him the right forever family.
After many promises of adoption that never happened, he turned 18 without being adopted. Thankfully, his story doesn’t end there. He told Tasha about a family that was friends with his parents. Tasha worked with the family through every step of the adoption process, navigating the red tape caused by his immigration status and the fact that he was no longer a minor. At 18 years and four months old, the young man’s adoption was finalized.
Thank you, Tasha.
Nicole Buie (South Carolina)
Nicole took a 17-year-old boy under her wing, led with compassion and found him the family he deserved. The child spent nine years in foster care and felt lost being separated from his siblings. After building a relationship with Nicole, he started to believe that a family was possible. He told Nicole he wanted to live with a single mom who would love him, and where he could continue to read his books. Nicole first identified a former foster mother who was interested in adopting him, and he was excited about that possibility. When that didn’t work out, he thought his dreams of a family were gone.
The boy’s love of reading kept him grounded, and it’s eventually what led him to his adoptive family. He spent his free time in the library, and Nicole discovered that he had developed a relationship with the librarian. Calls were made, meetings occurred, and the librarian and her family adopted him in 2017.
Thank you, Nicole.
Through Wendy’s Wonderful Kids, the Foundation provides grants to adoption agencies to hire and train recruiters in our Child-Focused Recruitment Model, which is up to three times more effective at serving children who have been in foster care the longest, including older youth, sibling groups and children with special needs. To date, our more than 400 WWK recruiters have found forever families for nearly 8,000 children. Learn more
Tasha and Nicole were featured in the Foundation’s 2018 Annual Report. Download the full report