Kobi Maley

Kobi Maley

Sometimes you do things for yourself.

Sometimes you do thing for others.

And sometimes, when the stars align just right, you do something for yourself that winds up helping others in a way you’d never imagine.

That’s just what happened to me and my husband, Mark, in the summer of 2007. After talking off and on for years about becoming foster parents, we finally decided to attend an orientation meeting held by Children’s Service Society of Wisconsin.

Our initial interest in foster care came from our strong love of children. Our daughter was in her 20s and had left home years ago. We were empty-nesters and believed that bringing a young one into our home would brighten up our lives.

It did that – and so much more.

After that orientation, we signed up to become foster parents, went through the background checks and training. By early 2008, we had our first foster children – a 1-year-old girl and her 2-year-old brother. After about five months, they were adopted by a wonderful family.

After they left our home, we become foster parents for a 6-month-old baby named Kobi.

Little did we know at the time that our lives would change forever.

We watched him as he learned to crawl, then walk and say his first words.

We’ll never forget the joy of his first Easter with us. The excitement on his face when he figured out what egg hunt was all about.

We’ve had a lot of great times with Kobi, but the moment I’ll remember most was when our daughter, Erica, cuddled with Kobi and told him she would always be there for him … no matter what.

At night after he is tucked in, we always go back in after he has fallen asleep to make sure he is safe and warm. It is such a wonderful feeling standing there looking at this little boy who is ours.

After being with us for about a year, it was clear that Kobi was not going back to his mom. We were given the opportunity to adopt Kobi – and we jumped at the chance. On Nov. 24, 2009, he became our son.

The Maley family at Kobi's Nov. 24, 2009, adoption. From left: Erica, Debbie, Kobi and Mark Maley.

The Maley family at Kobi's Nov. 24, 2009, adoption. From left: Erica, Debbie, Kobi and Mark Maley, along with Judge Christopher Foley.

The caseworkers from Children’s Service Society made the whole process so easy for us. Even though Kobi’s case is closed now, they still take a great interest in how he’s doing. We e-mail them and send pictures so they can watch him grow up with us.

Even though Mark and I are in our 50s, we wouldn’t change this experience for anything.

The decision to become a foster parent, and ultimately an adoptive parent, is one that changed our lives. It also changed Kobi’s. Now he will grow up in a loving home.

So I challenge all of you, just think about foster care or adopting. The feeling you have inside will always be one of the best feelings you will ever experience and by taking in a foster child, you are giving them what they need … a home!

~ Debbie Maley, adoptive parent, guest blogger

You can read more about adoption and parenthood from Debbie on her blog, “Second Time Around,” on MilwaukeeMoms.com. Learn more about Children’s Service Society of Wisconsin at cssw.org.


More than a home — 6 Comments

  1. This is really worth sharing! I wish more and more people will open their hearts to do this… having little is just enough when there is so much love and care. Let us be a blessing to the innocent children who deserve to have a bright future ahead!

  2. Some family friends of mine became foster parents to a new born baby three years ago. They had the opportunity to see their foster daughter grow and learn and mature before their eyes. They knew this child would make their family complete. The adoption process was hard and long but soon their foster child became their adopted daughter. It is touching to hear about adoptions and how many people around the world take an estranged child and give them a home and family.

  3. Well im kobi’s mom and, Im very happy hes in a loving family!
    -Lorraine luckett

  4. I believe Debbie is his mom. She is the one there at 3am. She is the one that has always been there. Honestly, I think it is a slap in her face stating anything BUT the fact that Debbie is his mom.