When Angie Renick-Hayes and her husband, Jake, decided to adopt, they already had three biological children—Indi, 15; Finn, 12; and Attikus, 10. Both hailing from large families, the couple understood the importance of keeping siblings together.
Children’s Home Society of Washington received their file and contacted Angie about five physically abused siblings whose mother was close to losing custody.
“We believe all kids have the right to be raised in a loving family,” said Mike Fitzpatrick, Children’s Home Society of Washington’s director of Adoption Services. “Through the Wendy’s Wonderful Kids program, we have been able to make this a reality for many foster children.”
Funded by the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, the Wendy’s Wonderful Kids program at Children’s Home Society of Washington has dedicated staff members who actively recruit adoptive families and help older foster children find loving, nurturing homes.
In 2001, Children’s Home Society of Washington was selected to host Wendy’s Wonderful Kids and remains Washington state’s sole organization to operate the program. Since its launch at CHSW, more than 400 children have found permanent homes.
In March 2012, Angie and Jake, who live in Oregon, met in Washington state with Sakura, 12; Kaleef, 10; Sade, 8; Janayah, 4; and Charlotte Rose, 3. That day, they bonded as a family.
Out-of-state adoptions are complex, especially with siblings. Because parental rights were uncertain, the kids faced separation; a court date would determine their status.
Children’s Home Society of Washington, foster agencies in both states, and foster parents all advocated for Angie and Jake, who attended the hearing hoping to convince the judge to grant immediate permanent custody. It worked.
“When they came home with us, there was this incredible relief when they all got to be together,” Angie said.
Today, all eight kids are thriving and ready for more siblings.
“We’re enjoying our time together and the sweetness of what it’s like to be a big family,” Angie said.