Carla and Oliver, of Ohio, have adopted three children from foster care: Taye, Kemarquez and Kiondre. These children are biological siblings who were adopted through the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption’s Wendy’s Wonderful Kids® program, in partnership with Caring for Kids.
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 COVID-19 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.
“Angela took time to get to know each child individually,” reflected Carla. “She played games with them, read to them and would check-in with me to see if we had any needs or concerns that she could help us with.”
After the adoption was finalized, the entire neighborhood opened their garage doors to cheer on the new family. Carla, Oliver and the boys held a party of their own — complete with a video game truck — to celebrate the happy occasion. Since then, the family has experienced several special memories, like watching movies together, going to the beach and visiting Universal Studios in Orlando.
“My favorite part about being in my new family is that they love and care about me, and we go bike riding together,” says Kiondre. “We always stick together.”
“We can see each other’s future now … and I don’t have to worry because we’re all together, and we don’t have to split up anymore,” added Kemarquez.
Keeping the boys under one roof is something that Oliver felt was critical to their well-being.
“It’s so important to keep a family together,” said Oliver. “I feel fortunate to be able to plant seeds of knowledge in them and let it grow with the hope that they’ll pass it on to their kids.”
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