For Shay and Ray Clemons, adoption represents a strong image of affection, help and belief.
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — It’s a bond constructed on love.
Shay and Ray Clemons reside in Youngstown. Ray works as metropolis bus driver in Cleveland. Collectively, they raised a son and despatched him off to varsity. However they rapidly observed that they’d much more love to provide.
“I’m a toddler from the foster care system,” mentioned Shay Clemons. “So when our son went off to varsity, I used to be like ‘what’s subsequent?’”
In 2017, Shay and Ray adopted Marquise, now 19-year-old, from Wendy’s Great Children program which is a part of the Dave Thomas Basis for Adoption. And in April of this yr, the Clemons household welcomed Jace, now 18, and Tony, who’s now 17. Jace and Tony should not associated however they’re finest associates. The adoption program labored to maintain them collectively.
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“I do know there’s no excellent household within the sense of the phrase, however every household has their very own imperfections and flaws,” mentioned Jace Clemons. “And that’s what makes a household, a household.”
This yr, Ray and Shay additionally welcomed their organic daughter Olivia. She’s now six months previous.
“I inform everyone that we stick collectively like loopy glue,” mentioned Shay Clemons.
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There have been greater than 1,100 foster care adoptions in Ohio via this system which focuses on discovering households for teenagers, sibling teams and youngsters with particular wants. Laura Holt, an adoption recruiter with the Wendy’s Great Children program, helped to pair the youngsters with the Clemons household.
“At the same time as an grownup we want our households,” mentioned Holt. “It’s actually essential that our teenagers have that and develop into one of the best model of themselves that they are often.”
There are about 3,000 youngsters who’re presently awaiting adoption within the state of Ohio, with a couple of third of these youngsters turning 18 within the subsequent yr, in keeping with the Ohio Division of Job and Household Providers.
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For the Clemons household, adoption has develop into a strong image of affection, help and belief.
“As soon as that bond comes collectively, it is an attractive factor.”
Extra info associated to adoption alternatives within the state of Ohio will be discovered at www.fosterandadopt.jfs.ohio.gov.