Jermesha, Floyd and Jermain were separated for five long years while in foster care before being referred to the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption’s Wendy’s Wonderful Kids® program.
Their world changed when Edna came into their life. A Wendy’s Wonderful Kids recruiter who works for the Foster & Adoptive Care Coalition in St. Louis, she was determined to find the children a safe, loving and permanent home, together.
“Siblings belong together,” shares Edna, “They come in to foster care together, they share trauma together, they have that bond.”
Through the Wendy’s Wonderful Kids program, adoption professionals, like Edna, use an evidence-based, child-focused recruitment model that has been proven to be up to three times more effective at serving children in foster care who are often overlooked. That includes teenagers, children with special needs and siblings.
In Edna’s search for Jermesha, Floyd and Jermain’s forever home, Celeste and Mark stood out. Already parents to five biological children, the couple from Oregon felt their family was not yet complete. Edna spoke with them often. She asked tough questions. And once Edna determined that Celeste and Mark were the right fit, she advocated tirelessly for the out-of-state adoption.
“Celeste’s approach to parenting struck me,” Edna recalls. “I knew after talking to Celeste that she could meet the children’s needs.”
To say that Edna goes the extra mile for the youth in her care would be an understatement. When Jermesha, Floyd and Jermain eventually made the trip to Oregon, Edna went, too — flying nearly 2,000 miles.
“If we’re not proactive in making sure that every kid has a family, an anchor, a person that’s committed to be with this child through every life milestone, our kids will age out of care without a safety net,” says Edna.
On May 13, 2020, Jermesha, Floyd and Jermain officially became part of the family. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, their adoption was finalized virtually.
Edna and Celeste shared the family’s adoption story on the St. Louis on the Air podcast. Listen to the conversation below.
More than 120,000 children are waiting to be adopted from foster care in the United States. Download our free step-by-step guide to learn more about foster care adoption and get started on your journey.