Christmas Eve was very special for Brett and April Corigliano in 2013. They picked up a sweet little three-year-old boy from a temporary foster-care facility to spend Christmas with them. Because they were told it would only be a short-term placement, they went about making plans and buying presents to make a little homeless child happy over this blessed holiday. Indeed, Jayden had a wonderful time and enjoyed all the attention and toys he received.

The story does not end there. Jayden’s placement in this home continued on and on. Over the months, April worked with Jayden on learning his numbers, letters, shapes and colors and taught him to speak in full sentences since he was somewhat behind in his skills. She also went about the job of potty training him and helping him develop fine motor skills. Jayden learned the routine of the home. He especially enjoyed his nighttime schedule of a bath, being read to and prayers before being put to bed. He learned boundaries, how to be okay with not eating as many sweets that he had been used to with his previous diet and what was and wasn’t appropriate behavior. He slowly began bonding closely with April and Brett.

Brett and April had things to learn as well. They had to understand how to navigate the court hearings, write Caregiver’s Reports to the Court, deal with monthly visits from state social workers and the Antioch case manager as well as send Jayden to visitations with his birth mother two to three times a week. This wasn’t always easy as Jayden came home conflicted and sometimes disturbed after visitations. Misbehaviors often increased both at home and at his daycare. Months turned into years and Jayden grew into a happy and high-energy little boy. Vacations to Oregon, going to the Portland Zoo and spending time on the beach proved to be a delightful adventure for him. He grew, not only in stature but emotionally, and learned the fine art of sharing and kindness with his friends. He progressed very well in his daycare preparation for kindergarten, took swimming lessons and began classes in karate. Two and a half years later this little boy has become a charming five-year-old who brings exceeding joy to the Coriglianos. His charming personality and engaging smile captures the hearts of those who come in contact with him. What was meant to be a short term placement indeed became long term, and it finally became Jayden’s forever home. On June 10th, 2016, he was officially adopted. This, to Brett and April, is like Christmas in July, well almost; it is their Christmas present in June!