Through individual, family and group counseling services, C,.A.S.E. is improving the mental health of adoptive and foster families in partnership with state, county and city child welfare agencies in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia.
Kaari and Lee Vasquez served as foster parents over a nine-year period and chose to adopt two of the boys; the older one joined the family at three months and the younger one at two years of age. The family faced challenges helping the boys manage their emotions, while including their birth families in their lives in an accepting and non-judgmental way. Kaari and Lee knew they needed to set healthy parameters for the birth families’ involvement. While parenting their boys, the couple faced additional issues of helping a foster child grieve the loss of her baby and supporting a young boy to transition to his birthfather in Central America.
While Kaari and Lee knew about the complexity of adoption and attachment, they turned to C.A.S.E. for extra guidance from 2011-2016. With individual and family therapy, their boys developed a clear understanding of their place in their forever family and healthy relationships with their birth families. Kaari and Lee stay in touch with the children they’ve fostered and with the families who adopted them. They shared the knowledge they gained through a support group for adoptive parents at their church and training through the TCU Institute of Child Development. In 2016, C.A.S.E. recognized Kaari and Lee as Stars of Adoption for their compassion and advocacy. They later moved to Mexico to serve as live-in foster parents at an orphanage. Kaari and Lee feel their whole family has benefitted from the experience as they continue to positively change others’ lives.
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*Fact published by Howard, Smith & Ryan, 2004; Vandivere, Malm & Radel, 2009