Thursday, November 14, 2019

The “MAGIC” of the Project Wait No Longer 150th Placement  

Who could have known that a vision that grew out of a heartfelt need in 1945 would flourish and expand to not only the most comprehensive and diverse domestic and international program in the US but that an even deeper mission would develop to speak to the crisis of languishing children in foster care?

Project Wait No Longer- Barker's older child adoption from foster care program established in 2005, was born out of a desire to address the growing numbers of waiting children in foster care by placing one child at a time into loving and stable families. On October 25, 2019, PWNL created a family for its 150th child, whose name would match just one of the feelings that followed: Joy.

Joy is a nine-year-old girl described by family and friends as bright, determined, and strong-willed.  The middle child of five maternal siblings and two paternal siblings, Joy and her siblings were waiting and longing for forever families since being removed from their family of origin in 2017. Joy enjoys reading, playing outdoors and is an active member of the Girl Scouts.  Upon meeting her, she appears to be shy, but one quickly learns that she is both interactive and engaging. Her favorite color is purple. Her favorite food is tacos. Joy marvels at all things “magic.” 

When do I get to go home? Do I have to go back to the foster home this time?

At the first emotional meeting in August 2019 with her prospective parents, Patrick and Victoria, there was an instant connection resulting in all eagerly awaiting the next time that they could be together.  Patrick and Victoria, fully aware of Joy’s history of trauma and separation, exceeded agency visit requirements and visited Joy every weekend since first meeting her in August. On September 22, 2019, Joy attended Barker’s Annual Family Picnic during a visit with Patrick and Victoria. Who could have guessed that SHE would be called upon to help the talented and entertaining magician with his magic tricks? Joy was delighted to assist and amazed by the “magic” performed.

Afterward, and with growing anticipation and excitement, Joy would ask her caseworker and the prospective family, “When do I get to go home? Do I have to go back to the foster home this time?”  After 11 weekend visits, which felt like a lifetime, October 25, 2019 would mark the end of the wait.  A new chapter began for this forever family and Joy experienced her own “magic.” Magic that she and her family would always remember.

Joy’s story mirrors that of 149 other children who now experience the permanency of a loving and stable family. We see children graduate from kindergarten and from college. Milestones are celebrated. No feat is inconsequential. Project Wait No Longer has given the gift of a forever family and the Barker Community cheering squad to support the 150 children who needed unconditional love.  Children, who without the support of the Barker Community may have continued to wait or age out of the foster care system, never having found a home that they can return to at every phase of life; triumphs and/or challenges.

The Barker Adoption Foundation family is invigorated and inspired by Project Wait No Longer program successes. We continue to live the mission that has been at the forefront since its inception: Every Child Deserves A Family.

In Celebration of The Barker Adoption Foundation’s 74 years of creating and supporting “forever families” and National Adoption Month, a generous, passionate Barker benefactor will match the donations made in November up to $50,000.

Join us in living this mission and celebrating the 150th Project Wait No Longer placement during National Adoption Month with a gift of $150. 


Saara McEachnie, Director of Domestic Adoption