Editor's Note: Window on the Clearwater has joined the Wednesday's Child network to help spread the word about children that are waiting for families to give them the loving care that they need. Each Wednesday we will profile a different child. For more information about Wednesday's Child and how you can be involved check the web site at: http://www.idahowednesdayschild.org/.
Mariah, Michael, Nathanael, Kayden & Lyric
Ages: 9 - 15
Described as a family unit that needs each individual, these five brothers and sisters watch out for each other. Though they may tease each other or get in each other's space, they love each other and it shows.
"I would describe myself as a girly-girl when it comes to liking jewelry and dressing. But I definitely don't like shopping. I like the things my G-ma finds for me. When I'm not in school, I like being active outdoors or playing videogames or drawing or coloring. I love all sorts of animals--dogs, cats, even rats! My favorite wild animals are tigers. I would love to care for a tiger cub someday."
Mariah has a very strong bond with her maternal grandmother and is the only child in the family who has been in the same home throughout her time in temporary care. She is also attached to her siblings and often feels responsible for their safety and behavior. Mariah has had more time lately to develop her own interests, as she and her siblings are living in three separate homes within foster care--two of those being with relatives serving as foster parents.
Mariah thinks she might like to be an attorney some day or a veterinarian. Her abilities in math could help with either of those careers. Mariah is also artistic and enjoys trading drawings with her younger brother, Nathanael, who is also an artist.
Mariah is making consistent gains at school and enjoys Art and Math. Social stresses and interactions with peers could be improved as Mariah's adoptive parents help her problem-solve as to the most enriching environments and tools for learning.
Being with her brothers and sister and having supportive adults who encourage social gatherings within their home could enhance Mariah's social life, as well as her siblings' abilities to have lasting friendships. Mariah has enjoyed one-on-one attention and familiar surroundings in her grandparents' home. It will take time, patience and understanding for her to adjust to a new locale and family. Keeping her connected with her grandparents and safe extended family members will show her adoptive family's intent to blend positives--old and new--in her life.
"I like football, Lacrosse, basketball, wrestling and being with my friends. I'm good at Math and Art at school. I like to draw. I enjoy doing things with my brothers and sisters, like playing football, video games and card games. We enjoy being together most of the time, but we also get in each other's space."
"I like to do football, track and wrestling. Wrestling is my favorite. I'm going to be trying martial arts, too. I like school. I'm making friends and doing pretty well there. Math is my favorite subject; my least favorite is Language Arts. I'm just not very good at that.
Someday I would love to go to Alaska. It looks like a fun place--a lot of snow. When I get my hunter's education certification, I could hunt there.
When it comes to Mariah, I like that she's pretty easy-going and doesn't get in our way all the time. I really like to do wrestling with my brothers. Michael likes to play football with us and that's fun. Kayden likes to do the same things I do. When we're bored, he says, "Let's go do something," and we take off together. We like to play with air soft guns. Lyric likes to hang out with us, too. We have to keep an eye on her and be careful, because she'll follow our lead. If we're doing it, she's going to do it, too. She keeps up with us, and other times she just says, 'Uhh!' And goes her own way."
"I like Drama at school. It's kind of like acting. I might like to work in the FBI, too. I like Science at school. I don't like all the homework in Math. After school, I like to ride my scooter. I like to do tricks on it.
I like Mariah because she's funny and she's generous--she shares things with me usually. Michael is fun. He always picks me up and throws me [while wrestling]. I like Nathanael, especially when we do remote control cars together. We crash them into the walls a little bit. I like Lyric because she shares a lot, too. She likes me to play with her and when I want to leave, she says, 'Nooo! Stay!' And I play with her another hour.
The things that are important to me in a family is that they are actually fun to be around. I want them to have a sense of humor and enjoy doing things as a family--like go hunting and things. I think it's important to be together, but also have times apart. Then we don't fight as much.
I would like to go to Alaska some day. We could go fishing, hunt, see polar bears. Alaska is awesome!"
Kayden is described by each of his siblings as the class clown and the one who can make them laugh with a few words or actions. His caseworkers describe him as "resilient." Kayden is learning how to process deep, sometimes overwhelming emotions that don't come to the surface easily or are often suppressed by a talent for entertaining others. He is well-liked at school and at home.
"I like to sing and play Nerf, hide-and-seek and some games that my brothers make up. I love lots and lots and lots of animals. In my family, I would love to have a Dachshund. I like ferrets, dogs, cats and other animals. I love the ferrets in our home. They're really funny because they get crazy and have a hunch back when we let them out of the cage and they run all around and try to chew my shoes. They're like little thieves, which is what their name in German means. They make me laugh!
I also like my baby Furbee. She's really special because she was brand new. Her name is Olivia. I'm trying to get my older Furbee, Cocoa, to take care of her. I got the mom for last Christmas and then two baby Furblings later.
Kayden is funny and we wrestle a lot. Nathanial is smart, fun and takes care of me when I get scared. I love how he loves to take care of animals. Michael is tall and I like how he can crack my back. Mariah is very serious.
The most important thing in a family is that everyone is together. Parents should do things with their kids like arts and crafts. And they should love animals."
The permanency team involved in these children's case would like to find one family that can meet all of their needs and preserve their close sibling bond. Over the next several months, they will be looking for:
According to the caregivers for the three youngest children, they are responding well to structure and a calm, supportive environment. Those same qualities will help when Mariah and Michael are reunited with their siblings within an adoptive family. Once parents establish fair family rules, safe boundaries and lots of structure, Mariah and Michael will likely give up the responsibility of the parenting roles they've assumed over the years. Involvement in extracurricular activities and fun with friends may be the key to filling that void with something more rewarding and appropriate.
There may not be a lot of solitude in a home filled with five young people, but there will be moments of laughter, wrestling, and fun. These children love to play together and entertain each other. Their humor is contagious and is often used to cheer someone up who's feeling down.
If you have a great sense of humor, an ability to start each day fresh, and talents for building self-confidence through work and play, you may have what it takes to reunite siblings who are now separated by many miles. It will not be an easy transition to a large family with lots of immediate needs, but it will definitely be worth it.
Portrait by Barb from Barb Bergeson Studio Gallery
To find out more about Mariah, Michael, Nathanael, Kayden & Lyric, adoption or becoming a foster parent, email the Idaho CareLine (Please include your zip code and city.) or call 1-800-926-2588. You may be asked to provide this reference number: 30553.
|Window on the Clearwater
P.O. Box 2444
Orofino, ID 83544