Jeremiah, a seven-year old boy served in CHD’s TLC Medical Foster Care Program, was adopted in late August by his foster parents Carmen McKenzie and Earl Clarke. “He’s such an awesome kid,” said McKenzie. “I met him on his third birthday.” It wasn’t long before she fell in love with him.
Our TLC Medical Foster Care Program is a Department of Children and Families (DCF)-funded program that provides a loving and medically supportive environment to DCF-involved children and adolescent youth in need.
In attendance at the special event at Worcester Juvenile Court, when the adoption became official, was his TLC team and his brother Emmanuel (who had been adopted into another family in July), and Emmanuel’s adopted father. “Jeremiah and Emmanuel still see one another about once a month,” said McKenzie. “We want Jeremiah to grow up knowing his brother.”
Jeremiah has paralyzed vocal cords, so he has a tracheotomy tube in his neck to help him breathe and speak. McKenzie can’t say enough about the TLC program, which provides her with home health aides, visiting nurses, and a caseworker to help meet Jeremiah’s medical, therapeutic, and basic needs. “I get a lot of support from CHD—anything I need is only a phone call away,” she said.
McKenzie, who has two grown biological children of her own, has been a CHD foster parent for 20 years, has fostered 30 children and teens in the last two decades, and has been involved with the TLC program for 13 years. At present, she is also fostering a four-year-old girl for TLC. “It’s such an incredibly rewarding experience,” she said. “I love to see these children thrive and go from point A to point B.”
Jeremiah’s full name is now Jeremiah McKenzie Leathers-Clarke. Congratulations to Jeremiah and family!
Pictured with Jeremiah’s family in the group photo are (L-R) TLC Caseworker Maria Fernandes, Foster Care Homefinder Pat Overson, and Foster Care Program Director Rhonda Young.