MARE Success Stories

Over the years, MARE has found permanent, loving families for thousands of children waiting in foster care. Read about a few of these phenomenal families who, in the course of making a difference in a child’s life, also had their own life-changing experiences.

If you have adopted with MARE’s help and have a success story to share, we want to hear from you. Please email your story and picture to Diane Tomaz, Director of Family Support Services, dianet@MAREinc.org.

Case-Teague Family
Photo by Krista Photography
Case-Teague Family

 

Along the course of the long and winding road of adoption, there are fits and starts. For Robert Case and Chris Teague, that was the case that led them to adopting now-9-year-old Anna and 5-year-old Christian.

“For whatever reason, we had always been thinking about adoption. I remember being younger and thinking that adoption was such a nice thing to…

Tinnirella Family
Tinnirella Family

 

There he was, just a little boy in a brown coat who was looking for a family and a place to call home. Dominick, that same little boy in the brown coat on the television just felt like the missing piece to the Tinnirella family which by any measure felt complete just minutes before. As they settled in to watch the evening news, they first laid eyes on the nine-year-old boy who…

French Family
French Family
French Family

In 1967, Joan and Chuck French wanted a family. Joan, then a 33 year old volunteer with the Red Cross who had a passion for cooking, and Chuck, 35, who traveled a great deal for business, decided to turn to adoption through the state as their starting point. They adopted Mark and he arrived at their home 10 days after being born. Eight years later, they adopted another child, a six month old…

Volz-Benoit Family
Volz-Benoit Family

 

Sitting in the stands at Springfield College’s Blake Arena, the Volz-Benoit family cheers and roots for the Pride’s men’s gymnastics team at every home meet. With five children, the family comes equipped with the strength in numbers that any good cheering section truly demands from its constituents. However, the family isn’t cheering on a sibling or…

Chambers-Holland Family
Chambers-Holland Family

 

Robert and Jim, surrounded by crying, kicking, and tantrums, thought to themselves, “we can do this.” As they walked through Disneyworld with their nieces and nephews in tow - amongst the breakdowns and tired parents -  it became more and more clear that if other people could manage this loveable chaos, then so could they. Adoption had always been a…

Maldonado-Norton Family
Photo by Liz Linder Photography
Maldonado-Norton Family

 

For Angel and Leonard, growing their family through adoption was never a matter of if, it was always a matter of when. After 16 years together, the Boston-based couple began to think more seriously about when. "We started saying there are so many kids who need love and caring," explained Angel, "that's what spurred us…

Maher Family
Maher Family

 

Toni and Bill Maher's connection with adoption began in a supermarket of all places. While it is often difficult to pinpoint the exact moment when the seeds of adoption are planted in a family's mind, the Maher family can trace that moment to a unique encounter with a distressed stranger at their local grocery store.

After Toni and Bill welcomed their two biological…

Noonan Family
Noonan Family

 

Maria and Kevin Noonan were enjoying a relaxing vacation when they got a call from their social worker. “You know, we got a little boy in our office who just came in and he wants a family with a dog,” the social worker told them. She knew the Noonan’s had a puppy, and that they had been involved with the adoption process for almost two years. Several weeks…

Buckley Family
Buckley Family

 

One of the most important pieces in the adoption process is support. Support from friends, support from family, and support from one’s greater community, are the pillars needed to bolster any adoptive family. Susie Buckley realized this early on in her journey through the adoption process.

Susie’s path to adoption started years before she began the actual…

Puhala-Kenney Family
Puhala-Kenney Family

 

When JoAnne Puhala’s biological mother passed away, her daughter Kloee told extended family members that she would recite a poem and sing a song at the memorial service. This offer caught JoAnne by surprise as Kloee was a shy eight-year-old who had only just met JoAnne’s biological family. As the service came to a close, Kloee stood in front of the alter and…

Bratton Family
Bratton Family

 

Jackie Mastromatteo, a professional photographer, has been volunteering as a MARE Heart Gallery photographer for over a decade. The Heart Gallery, a series of waiting child portraits, debuted in 2005 as a contemporary way to connect the public to adoption, and Jackie was one of the first photographers to join the volunteer program.

All it took was an email to the…

LaRiviere Family
LaRiviere Family

 

For every story that siblings get adopted into the same family, there is another where that is not the case; the siblings are separated and are placed in two different families. “When Megan and Malcolm came to us, DCF was getting ready to separate them,” explained Chip LaRiviere. While Chip and his husband, Louis, were not new to adoption, this was their first…

Milligan Family
Milligan Family

 

Through a process riddled with hurdles, Brittney and Sean Milligan quickly learned that one of the most important steps they could take as prospective parents was to be their own advocates. “It is so important to advocate for yourself,” explained Brittney.

As the Milligan family prepared to adopt, they began to educate themselves. They found plenty of…

Ecker Family
Ecker Family

 

Not unlike any other New England family, the Ecker’s enjoy trips to Cape Cod during the summer, going to the beach, and looking out for any interesting rocks, gems or minerals that they can take home – whether found on a walk or in a small, coastal shop. Christopher is a typical 11-year-old boy who likes video games, plays with the family’s two dogs and likes…