Along with making sure that children in our care are fully supported, we are
also dedicated to finding those that need a forever home, find one.
In fact, Seven Homes has a 98% success rate in finding children in our care a forever home!
These are just a few of the beautiful success stories we have.
Sammie and Andy Gann were a principal and teacher duo, and for years people joked that one day they would bring home a child. Little did they know that this little joke would become a reality. Sammie was teaching her 5th-grade class when a 1st-grade boy named Davon was sent to her room for misbehavior. What was meant to be a punishment turned into a gift for both Sammie and the boy as a connection and mentorship grew. At the time Davon was an angry little boy. He was a foster child and had been through a lot. That year Davon spent many days in Sammie’s classroom before she left on maternity leave with their third child. At the end of her leave that summer, Sammie was told she was being moved to Second grade, and she was thrilled to see Davon’s name on her list “I raced home to show Andy the roster! Even BB (grandma) was tickled!”
That year Davon opened up even more to Sammie during their reading time. Their bond grew even stronger. Then that Thanksgiving Davon came into class with a big smile. He had been told that he was being adopted. “He told us, he found his forever family! And he was just so happy”. But the celebration was short lived. Before Christmas Davon was told that the adoption was not happening. The couple had gotten pregnant and now just was “ not the right time”. Another heartbreak for this little boy. His favorite teacher took him a little closer. But even knowing how much they meant to each other did not prepare her for a call she got that May. It was a judge. Davon’s parental rights had officially been terminated and he was about to go into the NC Kids database for adoption. But Davon had other plans. “The judge said I have a Seven-year-old here that says he will not go into the system, because he already picked his Mom and Dad…… It’s YOU”. Sammie was shocked and at dinner that night she shared this “decree” with her husband. Andy reminded her that they have a first grader, a one-year-old and a newborn already! It seemed like an overwhelming idea at first, but after talking to their in-laws, Darren and Laurie Gann they felt confident they could do it. Darren and Laurie had already fostered and adopted through Seven Homes.
They decided to try and foster Davon. But they had to move fast. This meant that they had to drive to Charlotte twice a week for the whole summer to complete their MAPPS training. But they did it, with all three kids in tow. As their classes came to a close, Director Ken Maxwell informed the couple that they were not foster parents, they were adoptive parents. “You know you are going to end up adopting him, right?” Ken asked them. The Gann’s agreed and so their fast track to adopting Davon started. But in the middle of the journey through legal documents, Andy got a job in Italy, and the family would have to move before the paperwork would be done. The job should have been exciting, but Gann’s could not celebrate a move that happened without Davon. Andy Gann told his wife, “we are NOT going to Italy without him!” And so the father of almost four made plans to make the move without his family. They would be together again as a whole family, complete with Davon. For the past month Sammie, her three birth children, and Davon have lived with their Grandparents, waiting to hear that Devon was officially theirs.
FINALLY, that day came on Monday, August 27th. Sammie immediately jumped in her car and drove to Durham to pick up the paperwork. It was the first day of school, she knew the kids would be upset she was not there to pick them up, but she figured that they would forgive her when they saw why. Sammie wanted to share the moment with Andy, so she handed Davon the news on Facebook live. In an emotional video, you see Davon with what has to be the biggest smile to have ever been smiled. “It’s my day! It’s my gotcha day!” He was finally a Gann! Fast forward to Thursday evening and Davon complains to his mom that his desk name tag in class still bears his old last name, but this morning he got to sit behind his desk as Davon Gann, and he couldn’t be more proud. “He is just supposed to be in our family” Sammie explains going on to talk about how hard it is to find matching clothing for a three and nine-year-old…… but she does because her youngest like to dress like Davon at church every Sunday. It has been an incredible journey for the Gann’s, and now that this chapter is closed, they can start their new one in Italy. “I joke that I am going to write this all in a book and call it Teachers’ Pet.” Sammie chuckled. But this family has to be careful what they joke about, the last one came true!
Three Brothers, Two Homes, One Family
December 22, 2017, Seven Homes celebrated three children and two families through one adoption ceremony. Six new brothers, and one new baby sister, claiming each other as their own through a beautiful bond like none other. Logan, Tristen, and Timothy all biological brothers were adopted into two families.
Logan, who intentionally chose and pursued this home to create his new family of seven, with four other siblings. Timothy and Triston make what was only a husband and wife, a complete family of four. Both sets of families are dedicated to keeping these brothers in each other’s lives.
As beautiful as this is, it has presented a challenge! The SEVEN children have been discussing how to create their “sibling” word to describe their relationship between two families. The kid’s conundrum sounded a bit like this, “Ok when we adopt Logan he becomes my brother, but you are his brothers, so that makes us brothers too…”. When discussing the new relationship the adoptions created. Adoption for these 9 kids means sharing, loving, caring and family. It means they are trying to define their new relationship with each other, having three brothers adopted between two different families. What do we call each other? Brothers and one lucky baby sister for now, until they can create the cool word to define their expanded family. And what a large extended family it is! In the picture to the right, you can see all of the boy's new family. No shortage of love here!
The Luckiest Call
Candice Idol had kept the idea of adoption in the back of her mind for years. It always seemed like something she would like to do, but never made the move. Then, one night in 2012, she saw one of our Forever Family clips on Fox 8. Seven was already a “lucky” number for this major sports fan, so she took it as a sign and picked up the phone. To her surprise, even though the sun had long set, Ken Maxwell, our director answered his phone. He was in the middle of teaching a training class, but he would call her when he was done. He did, and the following week Candice found herself in her first MAPP class. Her fellow classmates would grow and stay close over the years. It was not long after being licensed that Candice got a call. “I had thought I wanted teenage boys that I could help through high school and move on to the next.” But Ken saw something else in Candice. He called her and announced he had the perfect placement for her…a five-year-old boy. Candice trusted Ken and took the boy in, and oh how right he was. Candice fell in love with Zachary instantly. A little later, when his mother had his sister Aubree, it was just another blessing. Candice got to bring the baby girl home from the hospital and her heart never felt so full. Today, Candice, Zachary, and Aubree are home, raising foster dogs as a family.