CAP Youth Rieanne Finds Her Forever Family!
Rieanne is a bubbly and sweet young lady with a great laugh and a contagious energy. She loves cats, going for walks, arts and crafts, playing softball, and eating ice cream. And now, spending time with her family.
Rieanne spent the majority of her childhood bouncing between homes and institutions. She was legally freed for adoption in the spring of 2014. At 12 years old, she desperately needed stability and a family who could provide consistency and unconditional commitment.
In the fall of 2014, the Arrow family saw Rieanne on the Children Awaiting Parents website, expressed their interest and submitted their home study for consideration. That winter, Wendy's Wonderful Kids, a program through Children Awaiting Parents, reached out to the Arrows and invited them to a teen panel where Rieanne would be speaking. It was there that the Arrows saw her, in person, for the first time - and they fell in love. Concurrently, Rieanne was working hard with her team to understand that adoption is permanent and not another foster family. She was excited about meeting families and hoped for one who would be able to provide her with lots of love and attention - and maybe even a pet! In February of 2015, Wendy's Wonderful Kids presented Rieanne with a family photo album put together by Mary Lou and Jim Arrow, complete with photos of their home, extended family and their three cats. Rieanne was mesmerized by the album and announced that we had “found the perfect family for her.” Rieanne and the Arrows began visiting soon after, building memories and showing commitment. In November of that year, Rieanne moved in with the Arrows and on August 24th of 2016, just a month after her 15th birthday, Rieanne officially joined the Arrow family. Rieanne says that her adoption was her “rebirth.”
“We cannot imagine our life without Rieanne in it,” says Mary Lou Arrow. “It has been a true privilege to watch her grow into a beautiful young woman. We have been able to witness her resiliency through the transition of going from a residential setting to our home and to a new high school. Her gifts and talents were evident the first time we saw her on the CAP teen panel. It allowed us to see the real her – a teen who is strong, bright, funny, curious, kind and thoughtful –and one who was clearly ready to embrace her life and move forward. Rieanne, is able to advocate for herself and communicate in ways that have helped us to grow both individually and as a family. The gift of this adoption is reciprocal. People say what a wonderful thing it is for us to provide her a family and home but the gift she brings to our family is priceless”.
“The support services received from CAP, Monroe County, Hillside and Catholic Family services helped us through the process since it was new to us and was at times a lot to navigate through. We would encourage anyone thinking of adopting to take it a step at a time and see where it leads!” says Mary Lou.
A month after her own adoption finalization, Rieanne adopted Tucker, her very own kitten.
CAP was overjoyed to have the Arrow family participate in this year’s Heart Gallery as an adoptive family. Two years prior, Rieanne had her Heart Gallery photo taken by CAP to be used to recruit adoptive families. CAP’s Heart Gallery uses professional photographers to take beautiful, unique photos of waiting youth to give them a chance at adoption as well as highlight successful adoptive families. Rieanne’s waiting child Heart Gallery photo was taken at the same location (Village Gate in Rochester) as the Heart Gallery photo with her forever family. It was a very special moment for all involved.
Rieanne's Waiting Child Heart Gallery Photo from 2014: