Tommie & Shanette

Tommie and Shanette made a very important decision. They decided to adopt their cousins who were on the verge of slipping back into the foster care system. Shanette’s aunt passed away suddenly, leaving behind two daughters, Lorraine and Dana, who were only 15 and 14 years old.

After one failed placement with another relative, Tommie and Shanette made a commitment to raising the girls forever. They did not know where to turn, as this was a very stressful time for the family.

CLSW was contacted by the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) to begin the adoption process. CLSW learned that Tommie and Shanette were High School sweethearts; they had been married for 23 years and had a 16 year old son. In addition, Tommie’s 13-year-old nephew had been living with them since August of 2013 because of instability in his parents’ home.


This family went to court in mid-November of 2014, and the adoption was finalized at that time. Their household now includes four teenagers, and the couple couldn’t be happier. Shanette was so inspired by being able to make such a difference in the lives of Lorraine and Dana that she signed up to begin volunteering with CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) so that she can continue to advocate for other children as they transition to new homes.


This is how CLSW continues to complete families!