Wilbraham event links foster children to prospective parents

You must be at least 21 years old to adopt a child

WILBRAHAM, Mass. (WWLP) – An event held Sunday night at Interskate 91 in Wilbraham aimed to help kids living in foster care find a loving family and a place to call home.

In Massachusetts, there are nearly 2800 foster kids waiting to be adopted. This event allowed kids and prospective parents a chance to meet in a fun, family and friendly environment.

The Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange, also known as MARE, linked up with the Department of Families and Children to find some loving kids a permanent home.

Tom Arena of Waltham told 22News, “It can basically just be a stable, happy, normal place to grow up, when you’ve come from chaos.

According MARE, that’s the first step in understanding the stories behind some of these kids. The organization works with kids who are harder to place.

Joseph Sandagato from MARE, told 22News, “It could be something as simple as being part of a large sibling group, up to and including medical or other issues that may require a little bit more attention.”

Since 1957, MARE has been helping kids in the commonwealth find homes, like 15 year-old Kobe and 12-year-old Elijah. Both boys have been in foster care since they were four.

Elijah told 22News what he’s looking for in a new home. He said, “Very calm, not as much noise as it is in the city. So yeah, calm and collective.

Elijah didn’t find a match Sunday, but Kobe may have.

22News met Tom and Renee Arena from Waltham. They’re interested in adopting their second child through MARE. They described themselves as a “fun, quirky family that likes foam sword fighting and comic books and video games and computer.”

And with all that fun, also comes discipline. They noted that “get your laundry downstairs, and get the trash out,” is often heard in their household.

MARE is a private agency that works with the DCF to place kids in permanent homes.

There is no cost to adopt a child, but you must be at least 21 years old, have a stable income and a loving home to welcome a child in need.

If you’re interested in learning more, click here to find out how you can become an adoptive parent.