TORONTO — Sheryl Ederman, a practice team manager at Jewish Family & Child, is “shocked and perplexed” that efforts to get a 10-year-old boy adopted into a Toronto-area Jewish family have gone unrewarded.
Josh (not his real name) has been in foster care for more than a year, and JF&CS has fulfilled its mandate to try to reunite him with his family.
“That was not possible, so it’s [the agency’s] responsibility to connect [Josh] to another family. The primary focus of all adoption services is the best interest of the child.”
Ederman said JF&CS has placed posters about Josh along Bathurst Street from Bloor Street to Richmond Hill, as well as sent out more than 22,000 email blasts, posted the plea on the agency’s Facebook page, and made it the lead story in Family Matters, its newsletter, but there has been very little response.
“I do believe there is a ‘forever home’ for this child, but I may have to go outside of the GTA. He has a solid, dependable extended family in the GTA, who, if possible, wants to maintain a relationship with him, but they are unable to care for him,” Ederman said.
“We’d like Josh to maintain family contact that is meaningful and beneficial, but his family has said they will not stand in the way of another family who may not want him to have any contact.”
In describing Josh, Ederman said that he shows excitement and enthusiasm in everything he does. “He enjoys karate swimming, playing with Legos, listening to music, and much more.
“[He] is friendly, charismatic, loving and inquisitive. His smile and big, blue eyes are hard to resist.”
Ederman said that Josh has had family challenges, and has demonstrated great resiliency as he has adjusted well to his life circumstances.
Josh requires a “forever family” that is able to provide structure, calmness and consistency, she said. “He would benefit from a two-parent family, and he would welcome siblings – especially older siblings that he can look up to as positive role models.
“Josh has some learning challenges and will require academic support. His adoptive family would need to be open to learning particular parenting strategies, be open-minded regarding extended family contact, and be loving and caring.”
Ederman wonders why no one has stepped forward. “I believe we have a responsive community, but this [lack of response] throws me. I don’t know what else to do.”
She doesn’t want to turn to an advertising agency, she said, because that would make her feel like she’s trying to sell a product. “We are looking for a home for one of our children.”
JF&CS can provide support to families who give children in care a home through adoption. “A financial subsidy, which is reviewed annually, is available to a family who is eligible,” Ederman said.
“We want to encourage the right family to step forward, even if they are worried about finances. Our priority is finding the right match. We do this through a consensual home study process to assist in determining the best interest of the child.”
Josh is anxious to settle into a family, she said. “He has been with a great foster family, but foster homes are temporary. We have to get him out of the system, and into a permanent home. Permanence is a safe, nurturing relationship intended to last a lifetime.”
For information on adopting Josh, call 416-638-7800 and ask for intake.