Home for the holidays, home for good

Home for the holidays, home for good

There’s something about watching toddlers experience Christmas that leaves nearly everyone with big smiles on their faces. At the McCalvin household, those smiles on Christmas morning could not have been bigger.
Mason was home for the holidays, home for good.

McCalvin_01“It’s hard to put into words…we’re beyond excited,” said Laura McCalvin. “We went shopping for Mason and our foster son and that was so fun. Being able to get them presents and have them here for Christmas is really exciting. Having family here is so important to Zach and me; we feel beyond blessed.”

The three-year-old boy can now call couple’s San Marco home his own, following his Oct. 13 adoption in the court of Judge David Gooding.

Jim Clark, president and CEO of Daniel Foundation, said that young Mason was very fortunate to have the McCalvins as his new parents, who are planning to have their own children.

McCalvin_05“This is a perfect example that shows that just because you adopt doesn’t mean you can’t [continue to plan to] have your own biological child,” Clark said. “This child did not have a future; he would have been one of the statistics. Now he has a life.”

The McCalvins became foster parents because they saw the need.

“We love kids, and we felt that calling and a desire to foster, not thinking we would adopt,” Laura said. “We thought we would foster after we had our own kids but decided we had the time and there was no reason not to do it now.”

Daniel Foundation was made temporary legal guardian of Mason when he was removed from his home. Family Support Services of North Florida assigned Daniel Foundation as the case manager, and as such, the nonprofit was responsible for finding a foster family or a permanent family.

The McCalvins fostered Mason for four months before it was determined that he was unable to be reunited with his biological family. At that point, the young couple knew they wanted to adopt him. “We fell in love with Mason. It happened to work out that we were able to adopt him,” Laura shared.

McCalvin_03Clark said “We’re very fortunate to have the Florida adoption information center here at Daniel’s Southpoint location. We have professionals to help parents through the bureaucracy and paperwork. We’re always looking for foster families and adoptive families all the time.”

Children who are adopted through foster care are taken care of medically and educationally through the state. “Adopting parents get a medical subsidy to help with what may come up in the lives of the adopted child, and the ongoing education will be paid for, including college,” Clark noted.

“I would like to encourage other families to fosters and adopt. There is a great need,” Laura concluded. “There are not a lot of foster families in the San Marco area. There are a lot of misconceptions about adoption, about the expense…but it’s about the kids. It’s changed our lives. We’re better people because of it.”

For more information about adoption, visit Family Support Services of North Florida at www.fssjax.org or Daniel Foundation at www.danielkids.org.

By Kate A. Hallock
Resident Community News

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