Sunday, 26 December 2010

SBS: New York State: Adoption

By Ed Reilly:
December 20, 2010
When Shantelle Songster from Buffalo was approached about being a temporary foster parent for a young disabled boy named Isaiah Henley, she opened up her heart and her home. What she didn't know was that her life would never be the same. "Once I met him, he gave me that Isaiah smile - my heart melted and I had to adopt him," says 25-year old Shantelle.
Monday in Erie County Family Court, Judge Patricia Maxwell signed the papers that made Shantelle officially Isaiah's new mom. "This is the ultimate Christmas gift. I can't ask for anything more. I have my little guy and I'm in love," replied a tearful Shantelle.
Gateway-Longview, Inc. placed the young boy in another foster home before Shantelle's. He was well cared for but his needs were more than the family could accommodate.
In June 2009, Gateway-Longview was searching for a temporary pre-adoptive home to care for Isaiah. They asked Shantelle, who is a teachers assistant for children with special needs, to care for him until a permanent home could be found.
Shantelle soon found that she loved little Isaiah so much that she filed papers to adopt him.
"This is very common," says Director of Foster Care and Permanency Services for Gateway-Longview Michelle Federowicz, "Temporary foster families fall in love with the children they care for and then decide to adopt them."
While it makes for happy endings, it depletes the number of temporary foster homes available. "We are always looking for people to serve as temporary foster parents." comments Federowicz.
Anyone interested in being a temporary foster parent can contact Gateway-Longview at 783-9187.

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