Two brothers find happiness in their first forever family
The two years Nick and Jamie spent in a foster home that specialized in adoption, the brothers received almost zero interest from prospective families. Other children would pass through the home and be adopted within months while Nick and Jamie continued to wait.
Families were hesitant to adopt the brothers because they had higher needs due to a traumatic start to life. During their earliest years, Nick and Jamie were abused and neglected regularly. As a result, they entered and exited the foster care system multiple times. With each removal, they would bounce between foster homes before returning home where the abuse and neglect would ultimately happen again.
Over a three year period, this back and forth happened four times. Their state caseworker eventually decided adoption from foster care would be the best option. With no extended family or friends in the picture, there was no long-term plan for the boys.
Unfortunately, damage had been done during their back and forth. The trauma of abuse and neglect combined with instability in foster care had caused the boys to develop behaviors that scared most adoptive families.
Both boys were aggressive and angry. It was difficult for them to manage their emotions. They had gone their entire lives without one committed, nurturing adult. All they knew were different versions of chaos that made them susceptible to outbursts, anger, and other extreme behaviors.
With their chances of finding an adoptive family dwindling, the state contacted Boys & Girls Aid to help find a forever home. If the boys remained in foster care much longer, it was almost certain they would be separated.
We started working with Nick and Jamie around the same time Joe and Matt Fisher-Williams started foster care adoption training. When our staff learned about their experience, we knew they were one of only a few families in Oregon who could be a forever family to the brothers.
Joe and Matt were foster parents for multiple years before coming to Boys & Girls Aid. They had provided supportive and loving homes to kids with various backgrounds and needs. They adopted one of the first kids they served as foster parents and raised her into adulthood. They understood the time and commitment needed to parent a child who has gone through a traumatic event.
While we advocated with the state to find a family for both siblings, we approached Joe and Matt about the possibility of adopting them. After initially having reservations, the couple felt compelled by Nick and Jamie's story. Just like any child in foster care, they saw the boys needed a loving and supportive family. In early 2017, the boys came home to join the Fisher-Williams family.
The first few months were difficult. Joe and Matt relied heavily on their experience as foster parents. Even with that knowledge, they had some of the hardest days of their lives. It was in these moments that they relied on the skills they learned as foster parents while seeking out professionals like counselors and therapists. Throughout this time, Boys & Girls Aid was supporting the Fisher-Williams family.
Today, Nick is 12 and Jamie is 10. More than a year after they first came home, the boys are thriving. State caseworkers initially believed the boys would both struggle in school with college being unlikely. Now, Nick and Jamie are doing well in school, their behaviors are more manageable and their futures look very bright.
While Joe and Matt celebrate the areas where there is major growth, they value the little things that happen daily. From helping the boys get ready for school to family dinners before homework, these are the special moments. For Joe and Matt, each day is a reminder of the difference a loving parent can make in the life of a child in foster care.