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VFA Family Spotlight, The Scholes Family

The Scholes Family, Virginia

"Together by choice, not by chance."

Meet Cary and Robert Scholes, and their two children: birth daughter Cheyenne, age 21, and an adopted son, age 13. All four Scholes agree that, for them, family means: “a group of people put together by choice, not by chance; people who all love each other, no matter what.”  

When Cheyenne reached her pre-teens, Cary and Robert felt the time was right to expand their family. When they signed up as foster parents, the couple expressed their openness to accepting a child of a different ethnicity, as well as a child with developmental delays or disabilities.    

The three Scholes met the young boy who would become their son and brother when they were contacted about him, an 18-month-old in need of immediate, emergency foster placement. Without delay, the Scholes embraced this opportunity to foster the child. They were able to adopt him at age 4, after a lengthy legal process which involved The Indian Child Welfare Act, and extensive communication back and forth with Native American Tribal leaders. 

Since arriving as a prenatally drug and alcohol exposed baby, he has made steady progress. He receives special educational services with mainstreaming for some classes.  An intelligent boy who makes interesting observations and comments, he is a typical 13-year-old in many ways. He is skillful with anything computer-related, enjoys playing video games, and loves to build “cool things” with Legos. He maintains a small group of friends who truly respect each other. The family delights in coaxing out his shy and endearing smile. 

He has been receiving mental health counseling to help him manage the depression and anxiety that stem from his diagnosis of PTSD.  An ongoing challenge the Scholes have encountered in seeking services has been an inefficient number of providers, resulting in huge wait lists. Cary observes, “Waiting is something you can't do when a mental health issue is involved.”  

The main obstacle they faced in adoption, Cary reports, was the Tribe’s hesitance to allow permanent placement with a non-Native family.  Cary and Robert credit their faith with getting them through the very difficult times, “especially initially.”

This family is most appreciative of the Federal Adoption Tax Credit, which helped them buy their first home.  Due to their experiences, The Scholes ask members of Congress to please provide assurances that foster and adopted children can obtain needed mental health services on a timely basis. 

The Scholes are delighted that Cheyenne and her husband are soon moving back to Virginia, especially now that the family will expand again. At the time of this writing, Cary and Robert eagerly await the arrival of their first grandchild. 

Anticipating a new baby has prompted the pair to reminisce about their own babies. They especially remember his antics on the day he came to them. “It was the first time he ever ate a chocolate chip cookie. He jammed it into his mouth so fast that most of it ended up on his face.” That impish chocolate-smeared smile won his new parents’ hearts immediately and completely.