Adoptee thrives in new home

Tavares, 16, has overcome many obstacles in his life. 

He was placed into protective custody in 2007 because of abuse and neglect in the home. He went through multiple placements with various foster families and lacked a support system after coming out as a young gay male. 

He spent five years in foster care until 2012 when he was connected to CHSW’s Wendy’s Wonderful Kids program. Funded by the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, Wendy’s Wonderful Kids has dedicated staff members who help older foster children find loving, nurturing homes.

Despite it all, Tavares remained positive. “Tavares has been a joy to know,” said Courtney Angeles, one of CHSW’s Wendy’s Wonderful Kids recruiters. “He is bright, creative, caring and bursting with energy.”

Courtney went on a nationwide search to find a family that would meet Tavares’ needs.

She found a couple named Aubrey and Charles in Florida who she thought would be a good fit. They are avid lovers of the arts—music, dance and theater—just like Tavares and had met in the gay men’s choir. 

Tavares met Aubrey and Charles for the first time in 2013 in Florida. After a great meeting, they decided to move forward with the adoption. Throughout the process, Courtney worked closely with the family on Tavares’ transition. 

“Courtney contacted us about Tavares and ever since then she has been there for us,” Charles said. “She wanted us to be successful as a family and really cared.”

After a bumpy start in school, Tavares is now thriving. “I struggled for the first couple of quarters, but I decided that I wanted to do really well here,” Tavares said. 

Tavares has been on the honor roll and has focused on learning the viola, even winning a musical award at school. This fall, he will enroll in his school’s music conservatory.

“I’m living my life now,” Tavares said. “I have those survival instincts and I’ve survived.”