Pat O’Brien

After 30 years of working in child welfare not much surprises me anymore, until I met one 18 year old young man. For simplicity sake, let’s call him John. John was living in a group home and was about to turn 18. In most cases that meant that he’d age out of the system without Read More

A Forever Family Unlocks the “Warm Fuzzies”

Family. Love. Comfort. Connection. HOME. Each of these words fill our hearts with warm fuzzies, but what about those who don’t have any positive lasting experiences with any of those same words?  What would that feel like? It’s hard to even imagine a world where that would be the case…but for many kids, it IS Read More

This Adoption Recruiter says, “You Gotta Believe!”

  I’ve been working to find adoptive homes for children in foster care for 30 years. After 18 years working at a nonprofit that I founded called “You Gotta Believe!” which focuses on finding permanent families for youth on the verge of aging out, I moved on to become a Wendy’s Wonderful Kids (WWK) recruiter. Read More

From Foster Sister to Family Finder

Growing up, children in foster care were simply children with whom I shared a home. For 13 years my family was involved in the Vermont State Foster Care system. My mom and dad were foster parents to many children who would come into our home when they had nowhere else to go. We helped them Read More

From Hopeless to Hopeful: Finding a Family for Paul

  The strength and resiliency of children in foster care is awe inspiring and the families that open their hearts and homes to our kids give me hope for the future. The story that highlights the joys and challenges for me the most is my first case as a Wendy’s Wonderful Kids recruiter. It happened Read More

These Children are Our Responsibility

  Our children are our responsibility, and I do not take this role lightly. I believe passionately and firmly that our children are all adoptable. I am one of 11 Wendy’s Wonderful Kid’s recruiters for the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption- Canada. The support and guidance from the Foundation has been my key area of Read More

The Value of Family…Priceless

  “It’s not about being rich or famous, but perhaps I can positively affect the path of a child’s life when they are in the helpless and incredibly courageous position of needing help. It’s such a privilege to be able to hear someone’s life story – often about how their experiences have caused them pain, Read More

Waiting for the Miracle

Adoption is a niche that I fell into serendipitously. Long before I knew what “social work” really was, I knew that I wanted to help people. I wanted to work with vulnerable populations, specifically. So there I was fresh out of undergrad with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. I needed a job and child Read More

One Recruiter’s Journey to Help Children in Foster Care

I’ve been a Wendy’s Wonderful Kids Recruiter since 2007, but the surprising part is that I never aspired to work with children. I initially wanted to work with adults only (women mostly). So how did I end up on this path? Working with children in foster care and committed to finding them loving, permanent homes? Read More

An Adoption Recruiter’s Calling

  Thirty seven years ago my family adopted my brother, Peter, from Korea and then several years later adopted my brother, Toby, through the foster care system. I can’t imagine life without my brothers and through this blessing of adoption I have two wonderful nieces and two more on the way. I have always wanted Read More