Anderson, Creech named county foster parents of the year
Same sex couple took in two troubled boys, helped them overcome difficulties
The Charles County Department of Social Services recently announced its first ever same gender couple as Charles County’s 2016 Foster Parents of the Year.
According to social services, Waldorf residents Calvin Anderson and Corey Creech have poured unending love into raising two children, Christian Smith, 10, and Caleb Smith, 9, who were once
experiencing major difficulties in their lives.
Lolita Gleaton, a social worker with the department, said she nominated Creech and Anderson for the 2016 Foster Parents of the Year Award because they have consistently gone above and beyond what is expected for the two boys whom they have fostered for two years.
“The children have had numerous challenges but Creech and Anderson never gave up,” Gleaton said. “They just kept working to make sure that the children were in therapy, maintained special diets and kept them in extracurricular activities. Corey was the coach of the football team that the children were on and they also took the children on a cruise. They have just gone above and beyond for these two boys.”
Upon entering their home at the beginning of foster care, the children displayed complex behaviors.
“The boys were very meek and mild ... [they had] night terrors and they had really bad skin, but now it’s like
night and day. Even their teachers at school can see the major difference,” Gleaton said. “Anderson and Creech provided a safe, stable, nurturing environment, and the children began to thrive in academic success and confidence.”
The children have come a long way due to Creech and Anderson making the children a part of their family, she said. Gleaton said this is her first time seeing foster parents take two older children on a cruise and the children told her it was the best time that they have ever had in their lives.
“The most rewarding part is seeing the kids now speak up for themselves and have a voice of their own,” Creech said. “In the beginning they were nervous and afraid, they had night terrors and were malnourished when we got them.”
“The children are now empowered,” Gleaton said.
Creech and Anderson have been together for almost 16 years and have fostered a total of three foster children. Creech previously served in the military for six years and said that he and his husband knew they wanted to be parents someday. They both have always wanted a big family and although
it was a hard battle to complete the process, they were approved to be foster parents in 2013.
Creech said he and his husband teach Christian and Caleb various youth activities as well as responsibility, how to be organized, polite and respectful, while instilling values that brings them all together as a family.
Both Creech and Anderson said it felt great to be the first ever same gender couple to win the foster parents of the year award and to pioneer it as representatives of
the LGBTQ community.
“This is a big deal in our LGBTQ community because we are leading the way and getting rid of any stigmas,” Anderson said.
Both foster parents said the drastic turn around of the children’s lives is nothing short of a miracle.
“The recognition and the award is nice to have, granted the true victory comes in helping to change the lives of the children who we consider as a part of our family,” Creech said.
Gleaton said that honoring
Creech and Anderson with the award shows that the foster care system has become more progressive and more inclusive because all children need love and a family. She said families look different but children can thrive in any situation where parents are willing to be nurturing, open their homes and their hearts and that’s what these particular parents have done.
“Becoming a foster parent has taught me that there is a greater need for foster parents and that children come in all shapes and sizes and with all different problems in the foster care system,” Anderson said. “It has also taught me to value the lives of the children who have been forgotten in the foster care system due to lack of foster parents and they need help,” Anderson said.
Creech and Anderson found out on Monday that they have won their case to adopt Christian and Caleb. They plan to continue to grow their loving family and foster even more children.
The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments honored Waldorf residents, Calvin Anderson and Corey Creech, holding the “official citation” given to them by the Charles County Commissioners as Charles County’s 2016 Foster Parents of the Year.