Wendy’s Wonderful Kids
Provides social work services to find the best adoptive home for a child on the island of Oahu
Wendy’s Wonderful Kids offers proactive, child-focused recruitment of adoptive families for children who have been placed in long-term foster care. Sponsored by the Dave Thomas Foundation, this unique program provides intensive social work services to find the best adoptive home for a child by exploring all facets of the child’s family, school, and friendship circles, as well as recruiting families from the broader community.
Home Visits in 2016
Adoption Matches in 2016
Adoptions in 2016
Adoption with Wendy’s Wonderful Kids
• Developing supportive and warm relationships with children waiting to be adopted/legal guardianship
• Providing information and resources to prospective and adoptive/guardianship parents; Training and support for adoptive parents in Hawaii
• Increasing community awareness of foster care adoption
• Streamlining the adoption process
• Improving the quality of life for children in the permanent care of the Hawaii State Department of Human Services by providing a “forever” family in Hawaii
• Recruitment and screening of adoptive families and legal guardians
• Development a customized recruitment plan for each child
• Completion of in-depth case reviews and assessments to determine each child’s strengths, challenges, desires, and preparedness for adoption/guardianship
Four Adoption Stories from 2021
Sometimes the most amazing stories of triumph happen in unexpected ways. And this was the case for five tremendous adoption stories which Wendy’s Wonderful Kids celebrated in 2021.
If you were to ask anyone, Kimo has always been an incredible super hero. As a young man in elementary, he continually asked people when they would become his family. Right before being matched with a family, Kimo’s health took a severe turn for the worse and his placement disrupted unexpectedly. However, against incredible odds, Kimo proved each of his diagnoses false. He was finally placed in a loving forever home and the first youth to be adopted in 2021! On adoption day, Kimo would report to the Honorable Presiding Judge, “Your Honor, I’ve been waiting for this day my entire life!” (Kimo was 10 years old at the time). Kimo is now attending elementary and having fun with his two half brothers.
At 17 years old, Ikaika found himself alone in the foster care system, without the support of his father who no longer wanted anything to do with him. Ikaika believed that, despite his biological family’s feelings, deserved a loving home so the best was yet to come. On the weekends, Ikaika would spend time at another foster youth’s home and as his relationship with this family grew, they soon become his foster parents, followed by an adoption to his new forever homer. Today, Ikaika is in boot camp, as he prepares to serve in the Navy just like both of his parents.
Trinity came into care after a disrupted adoption. No explanation was given to this sudden decision and thus, Trinity struggled a lot with finding herself. However, the more her social worker got to know her, the more she realized that a family friend could be the perfect match. Since this particular family lived on the mainland, relationships were built daily through phone calls, virtual meetings and occasional in-person visits. After a year of getting to know each other, Trinity moved to the mainland to begin the adoption process. A year later, we celebrated her adoption via Zoom as the courts deemed that this family was in her best interest. The most amazing part of her adoption was her new family’s immediate reaction as members ran around the courtroom screaming that Trinity was now an “official part of their tribe!” Trinity is currently in college and has aspirations to be an English teacher and actress.
Kahana and Kalani
The final two adoptions of the year were two brothers, Kahana and Kalani. When they first came into the child welfare system, the boys displayed intense aggressive behaviors towards one another and were extremely limited in articulation. Yet at the same time, their smiles would light up the room. When around them, you felt that everything was going to be fine. The boys’ match was found through a local religious organization and, if you met them today, you would never know their prior struggles. Along with clearly pronouncing their words, the brothers are also learning another language so they can communicate more effectively with their new grandma. Thanks to this family’s love, Kahana and Kalani are also excelling at school and becoming role models to their peers in pre-school.
Mindy ChungPROGRAM COORDINATOR
“As a former adopted youth, it has been a privilege to help find forever families for those youth in Hawaii’s foster care system. They teach me on a daily basis that a person’s future is not dictated by their past, and the the best is truly yet to come!”