Special Report: Teen Finds Adoptive Family Through Special Program
Wednesday night, we told you about an adoption program called Extreme Recruitment.It started in Maine about a year ago, targeting kids at risk of aging out of the system.Adoption agency, Casey Family Services, has focused on helping 25 of those kids in the last year.The program aims to recruit family, relatives, friends or just someone who knew the foster child at one point.They hope one of them has the potential to become an adoptive family.In this case, their efforts were successful.You might think two kids and a navy tour of the world would have earned Jim and Sandra Goodman their retirement.”I guess the empty nest just got emptier,” said Sandra.But the halls of their farm house in Penobscot were getting too quiet, and it seemed it was the sound of their former life they missed most.”A lot of people are afraid of adolescence,” said Sandra.But she and her husband, somewhat unexpectedly, were ready to embrace it all over again.”We’ve weathered the storm, yeah, I wasn’t too worried about bringing an adolescent into our house,” they said. They had just adopted a seven year old boy in May.”A month later we received a phone call,” said Sandra.It was Extreme Recruitment on the other end.”We weren’t looking, they just offered and so we opened up our hearts and said ok, we’ll take a look,” said Jim.The program introduced them to 16 year old Devon.”It’s a second chance for say a child who has had abusive parents so on and so forth, alcohol, drugs, abuse, high neglect, malnutrition, so on and so forth, this is a second chance,” said Devon.Devon entered the foster care system at age 13 and turned out to be the perfect candidate to recruit for.He met the Goodmans for the first time over the summer.”We were nervous and I know Devon was nervous, too,” said Sandra.But after a few meetings, the nerves started to subside and a relationship began to build.”Things just started to fall into place and I could almost say right now it’s almost as if he’s always been with us,” said Sandra.The Goodmans adopted Devon in August.He was just two years away from aging out of the foster care system. “I think sometimes what happens with children in Devon’s situation is that a sense of perhaps worthlessness develops because of things that they’ve been through,” said Sandra.But by giving Devon a home now, the Goodmans hope they can help shape his future.”At least get him launched, give him the opportunity to try and get onto the right step into adulthood. You feel for that for a lot of those kids out there who will not have a permanent home, or a feeling of history, and we’re hoping to give Devon at least a permanency that he has some place to come home to,” said Jim.There’s already talk of colleges and potential career plans, as Devon has expressed an interest in ancient history.Regardless of what the next chapter of his life holds, this one has given him new hope.”Second chance, more or less. Family, a chance for a family.”Thanks to a place that will now always be his home.