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Kate and Brian T finalized their daughter’s adoption on Adoption Day 2012 after representation from Roland Goss, a partner at Jorden Burt LLP, who served as a pro bono attorney in the case with Children’s Law Center’s training and mentoring.
Kate and Brian T were interested in adoption as a way to build a family before they were married – before they even met, Brian said. So this Adoption Day, as they formalize their bond with their 3-year-old daughter, has been a long time coming. Their daughter is too young to really understand the significance, but she knows there’s going to be a party on her behalf.
And they’ve earned a party. Their daughter was placed with the T family with a goal of adoption in October 2011 after living with other foster parents. Similarly, the T’s had been an emergency foster placement for a few days for another child. But from the beginning, they saw something special in their daughter. “She had a little spark,” Brian said.
Brian and Kate have friends who adopted children privately, and saw the value of the extensive support network provided in the public adoption process. They committed to adopting from foster care. “With the public adoption process, it has been amazing how many people are involved,” Brian said. “It seems like endless numbers of people all over your life, but it is amazing how much they can help and do – especially when you have a child that needs help.” Kate agreed. “We can’t be grateful enough,” she said. Listing lawyers, social workers, and therapists, she noted they’ve had “a solid group of professionals to guide us through.”
It has made a noticeable different in their daughter. “It’s astounding how much she’s learned,” Kate said. She’s an affectionate child – both with the people and the several canine companions in her life now, in what Kate said is a transformation. “When she first came home a year ago, she didn’t even like the texture of a dog’s fur,” she said. But her sensory skills have grown, she’s grown to love the pets, and now the entire family enjoys watching “this little tiny girl with these huge dogs.”
Kate and Brian have been reading with their daughter – several adoption books are among her favorites. Brian mentioned that she likes playing with flash cards. It must be paying off, because Kate added that she’s very good with letters and numbers. She’s also learning how to play hide and seek. There’s a lot of laughing involved, so she’s usually easy to find in her hiding spots, her parents said. But she was looking forward to playing more with her cousins and other family who were coming to visit – and celebrate the end of an extensive process – on Adoption Day.
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"...you’ve got a great group of folks working at the CLC! They have really enriched the advocacy community ... and made a great difference for our children."
-Patricia Mullahy Fugere,
Esq. Executive Director,
Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless