Marita Forney & Vangie Griego and Candice & William Ryder

Combining Forces to Preserve
Family Ties

For the past ten years Southern California Foster Family and Adoption Agency has seen many wonderful children go to loving and nurturing homes. But it is the uniqueness of each child’s story and the diverse group of parents that makes what we do so rewarding. So often we refer to ourselves as a family of families. In this edition of Highlights we wanted to talk about two families who have truly worked to incorporate birth family siblings into each other’s lives.

Marita Forney and Vangie Griego attended fost/adopt trainings at the same time and were in the same classes as Candice and William Ryder. A short time after becoming certified, Marita and Vangie received the call from SCFFAA Executive Director, Sylvia Fogelman…”are you ready to become parents?” The two women soon took into their home a handsome young baby boy. A few months later, the birth mother had another child who would find his way into the home with his older brother. Soon word came that a third baby was expected. “We knew that we couldn’t handle three children, but we wanted to somehow have a connection with the sister of our boys,” said Marita.

A call was then placed to Candice and William Ryder, who would welcome a little baby girl into their home. Since the two families were both SCFFAA families, visits soon started. During the continuing education trainings, the parents and the children would spend time getting to know each other. As time went on, the two boys began to recognize their little sister and would become excited when they would see.

The two families saw each other at court hearings, and arranged to meet on a regular basis. They also planned to meet on holidays and special occasions.

“It wouldn’t have been the same if it wasn’t for this agency,” states Candice. “We have two separate homes combining forces to create solid extended families for the kids.”

As both families became more comfortable with their relationships, they realized that the unique differences of adoptive families ultimately enhance each other. “We are so thrilled to hear about these siblings having the opportunity to know each other in an open and loving environment with their adopted families,” says Sylvia Fogelman, SCFFAA Executive Director. “Our agency strives for permanency whenever possible, and many times that means siblings don’t always stay together or even really know about each other as they grow up. This is such a wonderful story.”