Connecting with Kids--Part II - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

05/03/05

Connecting with Kids--Part II

There are many different reasons people become foster parents. Some meet a child and make a connection, while others may have always wanted to have children and can't.

We found a family that honestly got into fostering by accident. It's a story you'll probably find a little hard to believe.

The McCraws tell everybody they never even thought about taking in any foster children, and adoption was definitely not in the cards. But that all changed thanks to one of their very big-hearted daughters.

When you see Beverly, Dean, Joseph and Jared McCraw together, you would think this is just your typical close-knit family. There is rarely a dull moment. The boys are a handful, but they wouldn't have it any other way.

Besides they never thought Jared and Joseph would fit in like they have. For them, it's nothing short of a miracle. One child is autistic, the other has Asberger's syndrome.

"The first little guy came into our home and he was 17 months old and he couldn't walk or talk," recalled Beverly. "He was pretty pitiful."

The McCraw's home was the seventh Jared had been placed in in his short life. "When he came into our home, he started to thrive," Beverly told us.

So for the first time in their eight years as foster parents, having taken in more than 25 children, the McCraws were faced with a big decision.

"If you separate this child again it will kill him," said Beverly. "So we decided he was going to be a permanent part of our family."

About a month later, Jared's little brother Joseph joined the family. They adopted the brothers. It's a life they never thought was possible.

"There are too many children out there who are lacking and we've chosen to take the route of trying to take care of those children," said Dean.

When you see them together, it's hard to believe that if it weren't for one daughter who reached out to a friend in need, this family would have never come together like this.

"I can't imagine life without them and when the teacher says--not as much now as in the beginning--but he'll sit in class and then say, 'I miss my mom,'" Beverly told us. "'I miss my mom. I want to see my mom,' that tears you up and you know that they are yours forever."

"I do think we give out a lot of love and provide for the children in a special way," added Dean.

A special way that began back in 1997 when one of their daughters begged them to take in one of her classmates and her sister who had been placed in the Greenbriar Children's Center. Those two little girls stayed with the McCraws for nine months. The McCraws were hooked from that point on.

Tomorrow, we'll introduce another family making the connection and reaping the rewards.

Reported by: Dawn Baker, dbaker@wtoc.com

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