Watch their video  | Adoption was not part of the plan when Julia and Ron Moore decided to become foster parents, but it happened anyway. Janiyah was only two days old when she came to the Moores’ home in February 2007. Janiyah’s mother was a 16-year-old girl who'd been in foster care since age 11. With multiple placements and lingering anger issues, she was ill-equipped to parent a child. The Moores decided to adopt Janiyah themselves when … [Read more...]

The Searcy Family

“Omar has always been the happiest kid—I mean he has the gift of happiness. I can’t even begin to say how many joys he’s brought into our lives.” —Nick Searcy Hollywood actor / director Nick Searcy and his wife, Leslie, have a connection to Methodist Home for Children that dates back to 2001, when they were living and working in Wilmington. They became foster parents to Omar when he was 15 months old, and they completed his adoption in June … [Read more...]


Naming Cayden | Fall 2015 Spotlight | Story by Jesse James DeConto | Photos by Franklin Golden | Methodist pastor Cleve May sits at the Arthurian, oak dining table in his home, holding his adopted son in his lap and explaining how 2-year-old Cayden Manuel Vasquez-May got his names. The last name is obvious: Cayden took May from Cleve and his wife, Amy, the couple who’s cared for him since he left Duke Hospital six months after his … [Read more...]


Baby Steps Forward | Summer 2015 Spotlight | At the lowest, most miserable point of her childhood, Lilly was being sexually abused by a male relative. She wasn’t going to school regularly, and she lived in a squalid home with her mother and various boyfriends, sometimes sleeping in the same bed with them. She was beaten in the head repeatedly by an older sibling. She was dressed inappropriately in high heels and makeup. It was hellish. But it … [Read more...]


Trust & Courage | Summer 2015 Spotlight | Photos and article by Julie Williams Dixon | More photos of Dylan and Nancy » The sky is threatening rain, but Nancy Almon helps 7-year-old Dylan strap on elbow and knee pads and buckle his helmet before he climbs onto his brand-new freestyle bicycle. The scene is almost Rockwellian. Nancy's yard overlooks a sprawling field and pond, complete with a white farmhouse in the distance. As Dylan takes … [Read more...]


A Big Heart for Triston | Fall 2014 Spotlight | Emotional scars left by abuse do not discourage this family from adopting. As a therapist and mother of two young daughters, Cathy had to wear her emotional armor to work when she counseled abused and neglected children in the social services system. It’s hard not to get involved, but professional distance was a must. Then came Triston, a 6-year-old, in 2008. There was something special about … [Read more...]


Time to be a Kid | Summer 2014 Spotlight | photos by Julie Williams Dixon | On a sunny May morning in 2012, 11-year-old Brandie waited in the hallway outside a closed door at the Iredell County Department of Social Services. Behind the door, adults were talking about her future—her life. Two of them might become her next parents. By that time, Brandie had lived with five foster families. Two of them had planned to adopt her, but neither … [Read more...]

Tyshawn and Tyanna

Brotherly Love | Summer 2014 Spotlight | Tyson Robertson and Asia Battle-Gray were our Foster Parents of the Quarter (4th Quarter, 2014). The recognition goes to foster parents who go above and beyond expectations. Tyson Robertson grew up quickly as the oldest son of a single parent addicted to drugs. He didn’t have much of a childhood, though he didn’t realize it at the time. He lived occasionally in homeless shelters and … [Read more...]


A Family Forever | Fall 2013 Spotlight | photo gallery | article and photos by Marion Blackburn | Adoption can't prevent loss, but it can provide a lifetime of love and support. Marqael Moss will wake up tomorrow in a safe place, surrounded by people who love him and take care of him. He will have breakfast, he will go to daycare and, when he returns, the same people will open the door to welcome him home. On weekends, there will be trips … [Read more...]


Adopting Ashlynn | photos by Julie Williams Dixon | The family secrets would reveal themselves in the exhaustion that follows a full-out tantrum. Ashlynn was 3 ½ years old when she came to live with Methodist Home for Children foster parents Troy and Gail High. Nothing about this sweet preschooler—beautiful with a thick ponytail and sea-blue eyes—would suggest the earlier chaos in her life. Nothing did, at first. But Ashlynn had been … [Read more...]

Emoree & Haleigh

Adoptions | Summer 2012 Spotlight | Ralph and Monique Liriano of Clayton adopted Emoree, 5, and Haleigh, 3, on Nov. 7, 2011. The girls came to the Lirianos in December 2010, both anxious about being in a new foster home and unable to sleep apart. But time and love have taken care of that. The siblings now have their own bedrooms, and Emoree was able to help decorate hers. “Daddy actually painted the walls pink and purple for her,” Monique … [Read more...]


Adoptions | Summer 2012 Spotlight | Bobby and Patricia Davis of Louisburg adopted Lang, 8, on Sept. 12, 2011. Lang moved into the Davises’ home as a foster child in November 2008, and Bobby and Patricia had no intention of adopting him or anybody else at that point in their lives. They already had a large family between the two of them. But they fell in love with the shy, sweet boy living under their roof, and their extended family did … [Read more...]

Aaleyah & Jeremiah

A Child's Thanks | UPDATE: Jeremiah and Aaleyah were adopted by the Batts-Bunn family on Sept. 12, 2012, and the “I love you” notes have kept coming from both children. The kids are settled and no longer worry about being removed from their home. “If I take them somewhere, they don’t ask like they used to, ‘Am I coming back?’ ” Batts says. “They know this is their home now. The fact that they’re adopted—they let it be known a whole … [Read more...]

The Howard Family

God's Blessings on a Full House | Spring 2011 Spotlight | UPDATE: The Howards adopted Talmadge and Tashawn in December 2010 and Charlie and Ricky in July 2011. Amanda Faith was adopted in March 2012.  Saturday mornings are always lively at the Southport home of Jayne and Richard Howard—but this one is electric. After three weeks of design and construction, “Fort Howard” is ready for play. Four boys in matching camouflage wait for … [Read more...]