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Disclaimer: All names and images have been changed to protect people’s identities. 

Jay was almost completely blind. He couldn’t speak, eat, or swallow. But the joy he found in the mundane – making shadows move, playing with plastic straws – brought smiles to the faces of everyone who met him.   

Through Extreme Family Finding, the program responsible for identifying extended family members for children most at risk for aging out of foster care, our experts found Jay’s great-uncle and great-aunt. Unfortunately, they were retiring and felt they were too old to raise a young child to adulthood.  

Kids with significant developmental delays, even ones as joyful and dynamic as Jay, often don’t get adopted. When Kevin and Amaya, a couple in St. Louis, saw Jay’s profile online and inquired about adopting him, they were initially shut down. Jay’s licensing worker insisted that his needs were too high for them to adopt and that it was unlikely he would ever improve, but the couple was adamant that they wanted Jay and that they could offer the level of care he needed. Soon after, Jay moved in with his new adoptive parents, Kevin and Amaya. 

Prior to living with Kevin and Amaya, Jay had been in a facility for children with disabilities. He had no consistent adult in his life to love him and stand up for him, only paid staff members at the facility.  

Having an adoring, loyal family made all the difference for Jay. He now has parents who know absolutely everything about him and are able to advocate fiercely for his needs and independence. Because of their steadfast support and patience, Jay is surpassing expectations, doing things that doctors predicted he’d never be able to do, like eating, drinking, and speaking.  

After having such success with Jay, the family adopted another child with special needs. Together, Jay and his adoptive sister are transcending the limits of their disabilities, day by day, with the encouragement of their parents and one another. 

Because of donors like you, FosterAdopt Connect is able to fund programs like Extreme Family Finding to ensure kids like Jay receive the love and support needed to reach their full potential. Your kindness is life-changing for foster and adopted children in Kansas and Missouri – thank you! 

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