COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – May is Foster Care Awareness Month and while progress has been made on many fronts to get more children adopted, the need is still great.
According to the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, there are more than 115,000 youth in foster care waiting to be adopted. Thankfully, there are families like Oliver and Carla Green’s willing to open their homes and their hearts.
Happy moments were not always the norm for brothers Tay, Kemarquez and Kiondre. It wasn’t too long ago they were left in a hotel room in Cleveland by a young family member who never returned. Their biological father had been murdered, and with their mom not in the picture, the boys were moved to foster care.
“We originally started off as foster parents and over the time, we had learned that it may have been a possibility that they would not be returning to their parents,” said Carla Green. “So, we took it into consideration and we made it happen.”
Originally, only Tay and Kemarquez were with Carla and Oliver. Eventually, Kiondre came into the fold, adopting all three boys, bringing them all together under one roof once again.
“We wanted to keep them as a family unit,” said Oliver. “Like anybody else, you don’t want to be all over the place. So, we kept them as a family unit and I think that they really wanted to be together.”
Now, all three kids are thriving. Tay is 17 and soon to graduate from high school and begin his post-graduate career. Kemarquez is now 13 and with dreams of being a doctor. Kiondre is eight years old, with hopes of playing in the NBA or becoming a firefighter.
“Being an African-American male, [I want] to help these young men grow [and] teach them their own way,” said Oliver. “They could be going in a different direction. So, by helping them and bringing them to my home, just teach them how to be a man and how to be a father is very important.”
“I have three biological children and they’re all grown and so, we started completely over with a new family and I feel really good,” said Carla. “So, when we wake up everyday and we see that their needs are met and we see that they are thriving and prospering, we know we made the right decision.”
Further proof of the impact the Green family is making: more than 20,000 youth age out of foster care each year. Studies have also shown those that do are a higher risk of homelessness, unemployment and drug use.
For more information about foster care and adoption, visit the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption’s website.