Families made whole on Adoption Day

Nov. 14, 2013
The Evans Family – Julie and Derrick with adopted sons Malcolm and Marcus. They adopted Malcolm on National Adoption Day 2010, and were the guest speakers at the opening ceremonies in the courthouse that day. Photos of the Peloquin Family are not permitted until their adoption is finalized.
Photo courtesy of Ken Kotch
By Katelyn Gendron


CHICOPEE – Three years ago Holly Peloquin, of Chicopee, sat at a local Friendly’s with her son Logan waiting anxiously for the arrival of the boy who might one day join their family.

She and her husband, Robert Peloquin, had all but given up on adopting a sibling for Logan but that meeting with then-3-year-old Adrean proved to be the beginning of a nearly four-year journey to make him a legal part of their family. The Peloquins will join dozens of other families as they officially adopt Adrean, now 7, at Hampden Juvenile Court in Springfield on National Adoption Day, Nov. 22.

“For two years we didn’t have a solid lead for a child. We had said we were good with just one child; we had accepted it but my son [Logan] was very mature [then] at 5 years old and said he wasn’t ready to give up,” Holly recalled, adding that adoption was the necessary option after suffering eight miscarriages.

“He was very quiet the first meeting but Logan was a great role model. By the following Monday he was moved in [as a foster child],” she continued.

She and Robert chose to participate in the Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange (www.mareinc.org), which according to its website, finds “a permanent place to call home for children in foster care, including sibling groups and children who are traditionally harder to place. We do this by recruiting and supporting families throughout the adoption process. So far, MARE has helped over 6,000 children join their ‘forever families.’”

Holly explained, “The number one thing people ask us is about the cost. It’s free and the state picks up the tab. Everyone is always shocked [to hear that].”

Holly noted that the state does provide a monthly stipend for expenses, however, she and her husband, a realtor and computer systems engineer, respectively, were reluctant to accept it at first, as that was not their motivation for fostering a child.

Holly said the reason for bringing Adrean into their home was based on testimony she’d heard during an adoption training class. The person, a former foster child, said, “Whether a child is in your home one month, one year, or forever, you’re making a difference for that child.”

She recalled, “We always knew that there was a chance he could be taken back [by his birth mother] but we tried to give him life learning skills. A lot of people think it’s a hard thing [to have that in the back of their minds] but that’s selfish. What about the poor child? You have to think about it from his point of view. “

Holly said that methodology was also how they helped Adrean make the transition into their family, noting that they were committed to patience and understanding.

“[We took it] one day at a time and took our cues from Adrean. We didn’t try to set rules right away because you don’t know the situation that he came from. For the first two weeks he wanted to watch us eat dinner from the top of the stairs. You just don’t want to push things,” she recalled. “He had his anger moments but it was a really good transition.”

When asked if she and Robert were planning to take in another child after Adrean’s adoption is legalized, Holly replied, “We want to take a break at the moment but maybe later on. I’d rather just focus on Adrean.”

She continued, “It’s great to hear laughter in the house. It’s the most rewarding thing. You can’t imagine your life without him.”

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