Making of the McParkers

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Alesiea walked outside last Halloween smiling in her Frozen costume. She was chaperoned out by her parents, Matthew and Susan McParker, as the three walked around their Portland neighborhood.

This was the first Halloween Alesiea spent with her family. The 6-year-old was able to pick out her Halloween costume and trick-o-treat in a neighborhood where she met friends who would go to first grade with her. It was one of the first of many memories Alesiea made with her family this last year.

In 2013, the McParkers did not exist. Matthew Parker and Susan McAndrew were a couple who knew they wanted to start a family. Teachers who wanted to use their summer breaks for family trips and memories, they came to Boys & Girls Aid to grow their family through foster care adoption.

When Matthew and Susan decided they wanted to adopt from foster care, Alesiea was a 4-year-old bouncing around the foster care system moving from home to home. She had entered foster care when she was 2 after being abused and neglected, and found little stability.

With the help of Boys & Girls Aid, Matthew and Susan found Alesiea. As a way to show their adoptive daughter that she was a part of their family, the couple combined their last names to all become the McParkers.

Matthew and Susan have given more to their daughter than just a last name. The couple has provided Alesiea with the support, love and stability of family. They have given her the security that she has people invested in her future. In April when Alesiea fell in the cafeteria at school and broke her arm, her dad Matthew rushed to the school, beating the ambulance teachers had called. In a permanent family, Alesiea had parents ready and willing to be there when she need them most.

This August, the McParkers celebrated their family when their adoption was finalized. Alesiea passed out cupcakes to everyone at the ceremony. Out front, she used her parent’s cell phone to take a picture of her very happy family.

 
Ryan Imondi