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Meet the Coleman Family

The Coleman Family, Colorado

“Adoption means family! It is who we are.”

Jamie and Jim Coleman were living in a small, rural town in Colorado with their two sons, now teens. Longed to expand their family, the couple opted to become foster parents, never foreseeing the blessings to come. Their first foster child stole their hearts; after 16 months in foster care, little Jacob needed a forever home. The Coleman’s could not say no. Thus began their adoption journey. Another son, Jonathan, joined their loving household as a toddler. He’d been in foster care for nine months and was the Coleman’s first experience parenting a child with special needs.

The couple has taken several routes to adoption, working with private, domestic, and international agencies, as well as their local Department of Human Services. Jamie and Jim were open to adopting a child experiencing disability. “At first we had no idea the world that would open up to us. Jonathan’s special needs changed us for the better! He taught us to slow down and look at the world through his sensitive hearing and processing...he made our lives so full.”

Full is a perfect word for the Coleman household. Mom gushes proudly when speaking of the boys’ personalities and interests. “Jacob, age 11, is a bundle of joy!” An active boy, he loves bouncing on the trampoline, riding bikes, and having friends over. Kind-hearted by nature, Jacob instantly welcomed younger brother Jonathan. Jonathan loves making others laugh. He is an avid football fan, especially rooting for the NY Giants, and for his big brothers, whom he looks up to as “his heroes”.

Jonathan’s health needs are complex; legally blind, he also has Cerebral Palsy and requires a feeding tube. Much of his post adoptive care has been served by Children’s Hospital, as well as by “a stellar pediatrician” and by clinics that visit their rural area. The advocacy and expertise of this dynamic support team has allowed the family to stay located in their hometown.

The Coleman’s are grateful for the “hugely helpful” Federal Adoption Tax Credit. They would like to ask policymakers to institute greater support for professionals overseeing the family contacts, and improved training for foster and adoptive parents.

Jim and Jamie’s faith has played a big role in seeing them through all the aspects of the adoption process. Asked what obstacles they have had to overcome, Jamie mentions the consequences of past trauma on the children. “Others often do not understand these children’s “behavior flair ups.”

Jamie and Jim take every opportunity to express the wonderful impact and personal transformation that fostering and adoption has granted them. “Adoption means family! It is who we are.” Their home is now a blend of 2 biological children, 5 adopted children, and 2 in their foster care, who range in age from one to seventeen. “We adopted more kids with special needs after Jonathan. We are like a puzzle, all made so differently, but when brought together, we fit together perfectly. We wouldn’t change a thing.”