Stories of Hope

National Adoption Month Foster-to-Adopt Parent Recognition

It’s #NationalAdoptionMonth and we wanted to take the time to recognize one of our foster-to-adopt parents.

In the fostering world, we have the ability to learn all about folks who truly act with the best intentions and pure selflessness as they open their doors to children in need. We had the privilege of chatting with one of these folks just last week.

Robert Hayes of Luzerne, New York has been working alongside Together for Youth for nearly 15 years. While he had fostered children prior, he first opened his home for Jade, a child in TFY’s care, when she was eight days old. Robert fostered Jade for another three years when he adopted her in November 2014. She is now 11 years old and goes to school in Warren County where she has continued to live with Robert on his farm. Here, they tend to beef cows, horses, goats, and various gardens on the property.

Robert has continued to foster over the years and three years ago, he was asked to provide respite care for two young siblings, Millie and Spencer. Respite care is described as giving foster parents needed time off—from a few hours to a weekend or more—usually on a regularly scheduled basis. While this placement started as respite care, Robert’s family of two would soon become a family of four when Robert adopted Millie and Spencer three years after the fact.

Millie and Spencer would require extra care due to Millie’s cerebral palsy and Spencer’s high-spectrum autism, but Robert was up for the challenge! Robert travels to Burlington three to four times a year for doctor’s visits because that’s where Mille has always gone. He feels the medical center there offers the best doctors.

Even with the challenges behind and ahead of them, Robert and his family find time to enjoy things like outdoor concerts, camping in the woods, Great Escape visits, and listening to as much music as possible. This past fall, the family had a blast apple-picking and checking out the Thurman Annual Farm Tour. We’re excited to hear about their next adventure!

Robert reminds us that one ordinary person can make an extraordinary impact! We’re so glad we’ve been able to work alongside him for over 15 years.