The story of Joshua, Brandon, Benjamin and Hamilton shows the power of compassion in action—and how loving foster and adoptive parents can make a difference for life.
The four local brothers were removed from their home in May 2009 due to physical and emotional abuse. A neighbor initially took in the four boys, but the living situation proved difficult for the new caretakers, and elder brothers Brandon and Joshua entered foster care. Meanwhile, the biological mother surrendered her parental rights to the older boys, hoping to regain custody of twins Benjamin and Hamilton.
Joshua and Brandon flourished with foster parents, Rebecca and Richard Farling. The boys felt safe and loved, but they missed their younger brothers. The Farlings had committed to adopting all four boys, yet Benjamin and Hamilton remained with their caretakers. Desperate to be reunited with their siblings, Brandon and Joshua wrote letters pleading to the court.
Brandon wrote movingly about the pain of being separated from his brothers, saying that he had finally found “a place to belong” and wanted to share it with them. Joshua wrote that he was uncomfortable with the twins’ living situation, and he expressed his hope that they too could join in the lifelong bond of adoption.
On April 23, 2012, after much testimony, the judge read the boys’ letters, and there wasn’t a dry eye in the courtroom. The judge ordered that the twins, Benjamin and Hamilton, be placed with their siblings, Joshua and Brandon. Three years after being removed, all four siblings were back together in one home and have found their forever family together.
Today, Brandon attends the University of Florida and will graduate in December 2016 with a degree in Psychology. Joshua will soon graduate from the United States Navy’s Nuclear Program in Charleston. Twins Benjamin and Hamilton are “A” students who will be enrolled in the sixth grade for the 2016-2017 school year.
The brothers are excelling today because Rebecca and Richard Farling opened their hearts and home to them. Many more young people—and especially siblings ages 9 to 15—still need a loving foundation for life. Please ask yourself if, like the Farlings, you are called to show a child or group of siblings the way home.
To learn more about becoming a foster or adoptive parent, please call Paula Mealy of Kids Central, Inc. at (352) 387-3487, or visit KidsCentralFosterParents.org for more information. Kids Central, Inc. is the nonprofit lead agency charged with caring for abused, neglected and abandoned children in Citrus, Hernando, Lake, Marion and Sumter Counties.
Kids Central, Inc. › 2117 SW Hwy 484, Ocala › (352) 873-6332 › kidscentralinc.org