Royce and Noah have been in foster care most of their lives. They have been photographed for the Heart Gallery and featured in Forever Family news segments several times over many years. They are gentle, sweet boys, now ages 18 and 14, but their rare medical condition, known as 5 P Minus, scares most adoptive families away. People assume that their needs are more than they can handle - times two.
"Too much to handle" never even occurred to Tabitha, a single, 28-year-old woman who adopted the boys last fall. As soon as she saw their photo, she knew that she wanted to adopt them. 5 P Minus, also known as Cri du Chat Syndrome, has touched Tabitha's family deeply. She is one of 10 siblings, two of whom were born with this disorder.
5 P Minus occurs in only 50 to 60 births a year. It requires lifelong therapy, but the children are usually friendly and happy. Most can have a normal life expectancy and lead full lives. Royce and Noah are developmentally at 4- and 5 year-old levels.
The connection between Tabitha and ChildNet was the result of some creative family finding on the part of Jessica Samuels, Wendy’s Wonderful Kid Recruiter at ChildNet.
“No one ever called about these boys. I knew I had to try something different,” said Samuels. So she Googled and found the Five P Minus Society, a support organization for families of children with the syndrome. Jessica contacted the Society and they permitted her to submit a short article for their newsletter along with their Heart Gallery photo. The rest is the beginning of an amazing journey…As soon as Tabitha saw the photo of Royce and Noah in the newsletter, she got on the phone to Jessica.
Jessica then sent her a Forever Family video and she knew that they were supposed to be her boys. She came to Fort Lauderdale from out of state three times to get to know them and every time found it difficult to leave. Royce and Noah are much higher-functioning than Tabitha’s siblings, one of whom died right before Tabitha decided to adopt. In fact, their ability to speak and interact has brought her family close to them and created a wonderful support system for this single parent.
The boys lead busy lives that include special needs scouting and Special Olympics (three sports!). Tabitha left her job as a special education teacher to care for the boys. Her training has helped her to anticipate their emotional and social needs. They have adapted beautifully to their new life.
Gia Tutalo-Mote, of Forever Family, sums up our sentiments. “It thrills my heart to know that Royce and Noah have finally found that loving forever family we’ve been searching for. This proves once again that there is a family out there for every waiting child.”