Wal­dorf cou­ple hon­ored as adop­tive fam­ily of the year

Ter­ence and Erika Gib­son rec­og­nized for ‘su­perb’ care

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By TIF­FANY WAT­SON twat­son@somd­news.com

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.”

STAFF PHOTO BY TIF­FANY WAT­SON

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.

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