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Meet the Weiner Family

The Weiner Family, California

Adoption provides love, support, patience, perseverance, and hope.

As a preteen, Eunice did not seem a likely candidate for academic success. She had been in foster care since birth, had lived in 27 different placements before age 12, was diagnosed with a mental illness, and attended a therapeutic treatment school.

Over just a few years, Eunice has taken a different direction. She graduated from high school with a 3.8 GPA and “highest honors.” She was awarded a full scholarship to Ohio Wesleyan University, where she is now a freshman. Prior to starting college, she demonstrated responsibility through her job at IHOP and her volunteer work with seniors and with shelter dogs.

What might account for such significant life improvements? Most likely a combination of the young woman’s resilience, her mother’s perseverance, and possibly spiritual intervention from a deceased grandmother she never met. Sari explains, “When I saw Eunice on an adoption website, I wanted to meet her because she had the same name as my mother who had passed away earlier that year. I thought it was a sign from above.”

When Sari inquired, she was told that Eunice was no longer considered “adoptable” due to challenging behaviors. Not easily dissuaded, Sari contacted Kidsave. “They located Eunice and brought her to an event. We met at a Halloween carnival exactly one year to the day of my mom’s passing.”

Sari was 50 years old when she decided to adopt. “After I had owned a business, owned homes, and travelled the world, it was time to be a mom.” Eunice moved into Sari’s home just before her 12th birthday.

Asked to describe her daughter, Sari writes, “Eunice enjoys volunteering, working, and participating in sports. Due to her past she can still display anger and disrespect, and at times she makes poor choices. But she also can be cooperative and smart and successful.” Favorite family activities for this duo have centered on travel, movies, theatre, and sports. Whenever Eunice goes surfing and figure skating, Sari goes along to cheer her on.

The Weiners appreciate the many people and services that have helped them on their journey, such as family therapy, psychiatric services, residential treatment services, and school counseling. “Eunice’s DCFS team is like family. Over 50 people attended our adoption ceremony - about half of everyone who championed us.”

The Weiner home now includes a 19-year-old foster daughter. The specialized training Sari received for Eunice inspired her to care for other girls with difficult behaviors. She has had five such young women for short periods of time. “I stabilize them and get them back to family. I’m also pretty good at getting them tracked for college.”

Ms. Weiner respectfully asks members of Congress to stabilize the funding for Independent Living Programs. “Inconsistency in the ILP budget disrupts kids that count on the program to launch into stable lives, attend and graduate college, and avoid becoming a statistic. These budgets should not change year to year. Funding should be locked in for at least five year periods.”

Asked what adoption and family mean to them, Sari and Eunice agree, “Love, support, patience, perseverance, and hope.”