DORCHESTER COUNTY, S.C.—(WSAV)—November is National Adoption Month and the South Carolina Department of Social Services (SCDSS) is working to find permanent homes for children in foster care.
The department says more than 154 children are looking for “forever families.”
Now, they are recognizing one South Carolina family for providing a home for older teens and three sibling groups.
The McCall family, of Dorchester County, has 18 children, 12 of whom were adopted.
Antonio and Deborah began as foster parents and realized they wanted to provide a permanent address for the children they brought into their home.
“You are building high self-esteem in a child, or higher self-esteem, and they tend to forget the trauma they have experienced when you say, ‘you were created for a purpose. You have gifts and talents,’” Deborah McCall said. “Everybody deserves a permanent address. Everybody deserves a family. Family is huge.”
The South Carolina Department of Social Services held a parade to celebrate the family.
“It just warms your heart. It just shows that you’re doing the right thing,” Antonio McCall said. “And that you’re trying to be a positive person in this society.”
The McCall’s advise parents considering adoption to do research and speak with families who have adopted and fostered children to make sure it’s the right decision for you.
“I think having no expectations, a lot of patience, a lot of humor, and a lot of support,” Deborah McCall said. “Reach out to those support services and those resources.”
She says if you aren’t able to take in a child in need, there are other ways you can help.
“Giving clothes or bringing a meal or something,” McCall added. “There’s always something somebody can do in the community of foster and adoption.”
Key steps in becoming a forever family for a young person:
- Make the call to HeartFelt Calling, (888) 828-3555, and fill out an application or visit www.heartfeltcalling.org.
- Attend training to help identify what makes your family the best fit for a child.
- Meet with an adoption specialist for interviews in your home. Submit medical forms and references. Complete your home’s fire and sanitation inspections.
- A selection committee matches a young person with your family and shares their full background and unique needs.
- Meet the young person and begin getting to know each other with visits and overnight stays.