In a world where family stories are as diverse as the colors in a crayon box, the Wyman family's tale is an extraordinary one that has unfolded over decades. Peter Wyman, a dedicated single parent with a heart full of love and determination, embarked on a remarkable journey into parenthood. The journey began with a simple inquiry on MARE’s website.
Back in 1992, single men wanting to adopt were a rarity. Despite his professional experience in working with special needs children, Peter’s desire to adopt was received with caution and hesitation by most social workers. But that didn’t stop him.
"I tended to work with children that were diagnosed with autism, who had no real family involvement. I would take them home for holidays and summer vacations and I just found that their entire persona changed," Peter said.
When he first met Jared, potential adoptive families for him were in short supply. Jared had already been placed with two other families, both resulted in unsuccessful adoptions. Eventually, he found himself back in the foster care system. It was a three-year ordeal, with Peter coming in as the third and final attempt at a stable and forever home for Jared. Peter's tenacity paid off, as he was relentless in his pursuit of providing a loving and nurturing environment for Jared.
Jared, at the time of his adoption, was described as a whirlwind or a "tornado." Jared's care was demanding, requiring specialized services but Peter excelled in getting all the necessary services and supports in place to assist with Jared's development.
Peter didn't stop with Jared; he adopted three more children, each with their unique needs and qualities. The family lived in a small town, and Peter made sure that they were active participants in the community. The local police, firefighters, and other residents knew Peter's children and were actively involved in their lives.
“Exposure and visibility for children with special needs is so important. We travel extensively as a family and have been all over the world. I want people to understand that these children can live productive and happy lives.”
Looking back on his journey as a parent, Peter encourages others to step outside their comfort zones when considering adoption. “I urge potential adoptive parents to think outside the box and look beyond preconceived notions of what an ideal child might be and to explore the unique stories and personalities of waiting children.” Peter also highlighted the benefits of becoming a visiting resource to get a glimpse into the world of these children and find a connection that can lead to a fulfilling lifelong commitment.
The Wyman family's story serves as a poignant reminder that every child deserves an opportunity for a bright and fulfilling future, irrespective of the labels and misconceptions frequently imposed upon them.
Learn more about the Wyman Family by watching their CBS feature here.