Waldorf couple honored as adoptive family of the year
Terence and Erika Gibson recognized for ‘superb’ care
During the annual celebration of Adoption Month in November, the Charles County Department of Social Services recognizes adoptive parents who have gone above and beyond to care for their children. Terence and Erika Gibson of Waldorf
were acknowledged for their superb and exem- plary parental care and awarded the adoptive family of the year award.
Social services case worker Lolita Gleaton witnessed the work of the Gibson family firsthand. She said the Gibsons ensure their children have access to extracurricular activities and never complain about their busy schedules.
“Mr. and Mrs. Gibson are truly wonderful people,” Gleaton said. “They are loving, nur- turing and kind. The Gibsons have gone out their way to be inclusive of the biological parents, including being mentors to them in exhibiting positive behaviors. They have also assisted with setting the appropriate boundaries in managing the children’s anger and impulses. In addition, they researched daycar- es prior to enrolling their children as education is very important to them. They have offered an extensive post adoption plan which is the epitome of an open adoption which is in the best interest of their children.”
Gleaton said the couple is truly deserving of the award.
Terence Gibson said it was definitely unex- pected to receive such a high honor from social services, which was presented before the Charles County Com- missioners. He said the adoption procedure is not easy for any of the adoptive parents in the county, and every adoptive parent has experienced their own difficulties going through the foster care/adoption process.
The Gibson family adopted Taryn Gibson, 3, and Evan Gibson, 4, when Taryn was 1 year old and Evan was 2. Terence and Erika said they understand what it means for a child to want to belong to a fami- ly and have a place to call home.
“We’ve always wanted to adopt,” Erika said. “Both of us have adoption in our families. My father was in foster care long-term since the age of 8 and my husband’s grandfather was adopted as well.”
Terence and Erika said “love and patience” are two of the necessary qualities that an adoptive parent needs in order to care for their children.
“I love the joy of my kids calling me dad and witnessing them growing up so quickly,” Terence said. “From the time we got them to now, then watching them grow up so fast, and the connec- tion they have with us and our family — it’s just wonderful thing to wit- ness in person. It really shows how much adoption can really change a person’s life.”
They said that Taryn and Evan are totally different children from when they first met. The couple was able to foster both children as of June 20, 2014, and officially adopted them on May 2 this year.
“Taryn was such a sweet baby when we first got her and now we can’t get her to stop singing, dancing and talking,” Er- ika said. “Our son Evan had a few emotional issues when we adopt- ed him at 2 years old. Since then he has real- ly matured and grown up. He’s more articulate now, taking more com- mand over his emotions and overall much more grounded. I call them the ‘bounce back babies’ because they are really exceptional kids.”
Erika said she loves that her children are resilient and enjoy learning new things. But most of all, she loves that her children’s hearts were so open to having her and Terence as their parents.
The Gibsons raise their children in a Christian household with “good morals,” they said. Erika and Terence teach their children to respect others and be compassionate — a legacy they aim to pass on after their own parents instilled those values in them.
“I just think people need to change their view of parenthood and consider ways like adoption to expand their family,” Terence said. “There are so many kids that end up in situations where their parents can’t take care of them and they need a loving home. There are so many wonderful, loving homes that can love and support these children.”
On Nov. 17, Charles County Commissioners’ President Peter Murphy, right, and Commissioner Amanda Stewart, left, helped recognize the Charles County Adoptive Family of the Year, Terence and Erika Gibson, along with their adopted children Evan, 4, and Taryn, 3.