Nine-year-old Matthew was born premature and tested positive for methamphetamine. He was discharged after spending a month in the hospital and was referred to KVC by the Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) for out of home services. KVC matched him with a foster home and began searching for an adoptive family for him after it was determined that he could not be safely reunited with his birth family.
As a result of his premature birth and the drugs in his system, Matthew developed severe Cerebral Palsy, became wheelchair-bound and could not speak more than one or two words. Initially, three families expressed interest in adopting Matthew, but unfortunately, they all stopped the adoption process. KVC staff continued to search for a family for Matthew, and in April 2013, another interested family reached out. An adoption specialist met with Casi and Andy in their home to discuss the adoption process, and more importantly, what it would be like to adopt Matthew with his high level of needs.
Casi was immediately on board with moving forward, explaining that she was a nurse and had become familiar with Matthew after working with a student in his classroom. Her husband Andy, on the other hand, was unsure. One day, Andy was traveling to work, struggling with the decision to move forward in the adoption process or not. As he saw an exit for “Matthew Street,” he believed it was a sign that they were supposed to bring Matthew into their family.
On August 11, 2014 Matthew moved in with Casi and Andy. His transition from his foster home was seamless and they felt like he had always been a part of their family. On National Adoption Day – Nov. 22, 2014 – Matthew, Casi, Andy and their four children finalized Matthew’s adoption, making him a permanent member of their family.
Check out this video footage of the family on National Adoption Day last year:
*This winning story was received during our 2015 summer story contest by Megan Edmonds, L.M.S.W., Director of Integrated Services – East Region for KVC Kansas