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Meet the Perkins Family

The Perkins Family, Oregon
"We celebrate what makes us unique and what has brought us together."

Sherry Perkins writes, “My faith has always been the driving force behind my desire to adopt.” When she applied to become a foster parent, Sherry expressed her openness to older children, children of different ethnicities, and children with disabilities. Sherry’s flexibility and “can-do” attitude have made her the proud mother of biological siblings Stefan and Cian, now ages 21 and 9.

Stefan came to Sherry at age 9, after having endured tremendous turmoil during his formative years. When Stefan was 12 years old, Sherry was informed of the birth of Stefan’s brother Cian. “At the time I had already developed a close relationship with two of the families who had adopted or were fostering Stefan’s other brothers and sisters. Welcoming his new sibling into my home was an easy choice.”

Cian’s arrival launched a positive transformation in Stefan. Sherry recalls, “When I brought Cian home from the hospital, the bond between the two brothers was instant. I watched Stefan come out of his shell and attach to someone in a meaningful way. Cian was the first person I ever heard Stefan say ‘I love you’ to.” Cian was 4 years old when Sherry adopted him. Now an intelligent, compassionate 9-year-old, Cian enjoys reading, playing video games, playing outdoors with friends, and participating in Cub Scouts. Stefan has become a guardian, mentor, and excellent role model to his little brother. He serves as a volunteer leader in Cian’s Cub Scout Pack. Cian refers to Stefan as his “best friend.”

Sherry assures that the boys maintain contact with their 11 other siblings in their various foster, adoptive, and birth family settings. Her efforts result in the threesome traveling not only within Oregon, but to California and Alaska as well.

Sherry and the boys have used various post adoption services and Sherry has found the library and resources offered through Oregon Adoption Resource Center very helpful.

Improvements that Sherry would suggest to policy makers are: lighter caseloads so workers can adequately meet the needs of their clients, more therapeutic interventions for children and families, and more reimbursement to meet the needs of children who could benefit from extracurricular activities.

The Perkins family’s greatest strength lies in their support of each other’s goals. Sherry was able to finish nursing school because of Stefan’s willingness to entertain Cian while she studied. “Stefan even helped me with the math.” With the encouragement of his family, Stefan recently has earned his Associates degree in Video Game Design.

Reflecting upon her adoption experience, Sherry states, “We celebrate what makes us unique and what has brought us together.”

Stefan and Cian recall a favorite memory of time spent with ‘Great Grandma Grace.’ “People would stop and ask us if we were all related. She would proudly say ‘Yes! You are looking at four generations!’ That's when we knew we were loved and we belonged in this family."