Wendy’s Wonderful Kids (WWK) is a child-focused, recruitment program designed to enhance the search for potential adoptive families for children in foster care. Spaulding for Children is the recipient of two grants from the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. Each grant covers the salary of a WWK recruiter within Spaulding.

Parenting a youth who has experienced significant trauma can be daunting. Every year, WWK recruiters dig deep to find committed families for youths in care. When a potential adoptive family is identified, they provide support to the family and youth to make the relationship work.

A prime example of one of their success stories is Diontae, a soon to be 18-year-old adoptee.

Diontae came into foster care on Nov. 12, 2004, and became available for adoption on Dec. 3, 2007. He had more than 20 placements, including foster homes, treatment foster homes, residential and detention facilities. All of his siblings were adopted.

Diontae maintained that he wanted to be adopted as well. He had several disrupted adoptions with a relative, a recruited family, a foster parent and fictive kin (people regarded as family members although they are not related by blood or marriage). He became quick to anger and withdrawn, and he fell prey to peer pressure.

Despite this, Diontae remained open to recruitment. While working with his WWK recruiter, he spoke about his desire to become a part of a family and to have a place that he could call home. WWK assisted with a relative search and ensured that Diontae attended recruitment events. In November 2012, Diontae spoke on a WWK youth panel at Spaulding’s annual Adoption Day event. After the Adoption Day event, Diontae met a family that was interested in adopting him. They had been impressed with his presentation. He quickly connected with them, and they became his mentors.

But not even a month later, Diontae was arrested. This family continued to support him and to build their relationship with him. Diontae tested the limits with them. He stole, left their home, ignored rules, used harmful substances and violated the terms of his probation. He was arrested again and placed in a juvenile detention center.

With the support of the WWK team, this family did not walk away. They adopted him! After almost two years, his adoption was finalized at age 17 ½, while he was still in a juvenile detention facility. Now Diontae has a place to call home, a family, plus the support and commitment needed to help him become a successful adult.

WWK recruiters will continue to work diligently with the youths in their caseload so that every child can have a place to call home. In the words of the Dave Thomas Foundation: “Unadoptable is unacceptable.”

Family means no one gets left behind or forgotten!

Share your stories with us

If you’ve had a rewarding experience fostering or adopting a child, Spaulding for Children would love you to share it with us.  We may use your story on our website so others can learn from it and be inspired by it. Click here to submit your story or email it directly to mystory@spaulding.org


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