Stories of Hope

The Charlonis Family

Edward and Nicole Charlonis, a couple from Orange County in New York, whose longing for a family set them on an unexpected and heartwarming journey.

Their story begins with a dream to conceive naturally and after a few years, faced the harsh reality that it might not be possible to have biological children.

Let’s rewind to 2017, a pivotal year when Nicole was working a second job in sales – or her side
hustle as she dotingly called it – and found herself tabling at a church in Port Jervis, New York. On this particular day, she wasn’t feeling especially enthusiastic, anticipating an uneventful tabling session. Little did she know that destiny had something extraordinary in store for her.

As Nicole packed up her cart to leave, a seemingly insignificant event unfolded. The cart appeared to be stuck, but upon closer inspection, nothing was obstructing its movement.

What caught her eye was a foster parent recruitment flyer for Berkshire Farm Center, a subtle twist of fate that would alter the course of her and Ed’s lives.

Having lost her father a few years prior, Nicole often felt his presence in subtle signs. This time, she couldn’t shake the feeling that this was her father sending a signal for them to become foster parents – it felt like fate.

Excitedly, Nicole rushed home to share this experience with her husband. Within ten minutes, they made the life-changing decision to embark on the foster parent journey. Enrolling in foster parent certification classes in late 2017, the Charlonises were driven by a deep desire to make a lasting impact on the lives of children in care.

The journey wasn’t without its challenges, marked by waiting and uncertainty. However, the Charlonises persisted with unwavering patience. It wasn’t until 2018 that Nicole and Ed started welcoming foster children into their home, marking the beginning of a transformative experience.

Their lives took a significant turn when they received a respite request for three young siblings—three months old, a little over a year old, and four years old. Stephen, Zoey, and Aiden became the names etched in their hearts forever. Although the initial intention was temporary care, Nicole and Ed couldn’t ignore the bond forming between them and these kids.

The journey continued, and on June 7, 2022, the children were freed for adoption following the unfortunate passing of their biological mother. Nicole, confronted with the devastating truth, keenly felt the intricate web of connections—this woman wasn’t just a mother; she was also a sister and a daughter.

The epic loss would weigh heavily on her family members. Nicole, acknowledging the inevitability of loss, describes how everyone has their unique way of conveying it to children. Driven by this realization, Nicole has dedicated herself to ensuring Aiden, Zoey, and Stephen will forever comprehend the profound love still present in their lives, amidst the overwhelming sadness of losing their biological mother.

Fast forward to December 15, 2023 — adoption day. The Charlonis family officially welcomed Stephen, Zoey, and Aiden into their forever home. Aiden’s joyful proclamation, “God gave me you, Mama! It’s adoption day, it’s adoption day!”

Nicole reflects on the incredible reality that these once-foster children are now an integral part of her family. She says, “It’s so surreal that these kids are ours, now. They’ve been in care with us for four years, nine months, and 26 days. We couldn’t be happier to finally bring them home.”

“It’s so surreal that these kids are ours, not. They’ve been in case with us for four years, nine months, and 26 days. We couldn’t be happier to finally bring them home.”

The Charlonis family’s story embodies the essence of Berkshire Farm Center, and their journey will continue to inspire and uplift us!