Finding a family

A loving concept of fostering


photo courtesy of Vivian Gaines

Pictured above is Vivien Gaines and her family, the day after they adopted Eddie and Lucy Gaines.

Natalie Eljamal, Online Editor

Most families have some sort of connection, whether biological or adopted. For junior Vivien Gaines, fostering is a large component of her family’s connection. Gaines’s family has been fostering for a little over 15 years and have adopted a total of three children while having fostered a total of 23.

The process of fostering is more strenuous than it may seem. This family had to take classes, get a home study and get background checks. Even though the process may have been a little hectic, they are making a difference in many children’s lives by providing them a safe home to live in. 

“Growing up, fostering is all I’ve ever known,” Vivien Gaines said. “It’s been a huge part of my life, and I’ve always been so grateful for my parents, who have been amazing role models and have taught me what it means to put others before yourself. Of course, fostering kids isn’t always easy or perfect, and I’ve struggled to understand the ways of many kids that have passed through our house, but I’ve learned so much from all of them.”

Vivien’s younger brother, Eddie Gaines, was one of the children that the family first fostered then adopted. Eddie has three other blood siblings that are still in the foster care system, who were not as fortunate as he was. 

“Just getting adopted into a great family and learning to be grateful for what I have,” Eddie Gaines said. “I look at my blood siblings and just see that they are not as lucky as I was. They just got moved out from one abusive home and into another. It seems like there is no home to give them love and attention it seems like.”

Eddie stays in touch with his siblings, as they visit every other weekend. Though they might not all live together, he hopes to see them put into a stable home so they can be as happy as he is. 

There are many factors that feed into providing a stable family. Children could always get overwhelmed, especially since one child might get a little more attention than another. But still having someone to always lean on is something that they have never been able to do before this opportunity. 

“I’ve known Vivien and her family since second grade and the are some of the most loving people ever,” said junior Anna Blumenthal. “Despite having a lot of siblings, she is close with all of them and they all love and support each other. I’ve gotten to meet a lot of the children that they foster and I think that it is great that they provide kids with a stable family.”

Getting adopted into this family has enabled Eddie to learn things he never even thought he would know. From traveling the world to family traditions, every minute creates a new memory. 

“I think that it gave me a lot more opportunities than If I hadn’t got adopted,” Eddie Gaines said. “It has enabled me to be able to travel and to learn things that I never thought about like skiing.”

Seeing the big impact that fostering makes warms the hearts of many. This family has created a bond that is unbreakable and will continue to host more children and provide them with a loving home to learn and grow in.