Hearts Without Homes - A Success Story


November is adoption month.

We begin our ?Hearts Without Homes? feature series with a success story that has a happy ending.

Chris Cerenelli traveled to Beaver County to meet our first family. 

Joe and Clarissa Calderoni have a son, and they're much like any other family of three, but they are three faces of adoption.


Joe says, ?We've been married for 22 years and have not been able to have any children; so we've been in and around this process of taking classes to become foster parents for around a decade or more.?


Clarissa says, ?Joe and I both went into it knowing that really, God was going to put who He wanted here; we didn't go into it with high expectations of how fast or we weren't pushing it... we were just open.?


At an adoption networking event near Philadelphia earlier this year, it finally started to come together.


?We didn't know quite what that was going to be but we went out there and we found a certain booth with a certain flier of a young man named Austin,? says Joe.


That was in June... by August, they were a family.

Austin has ties to Erie and has been through a lot in his young life, but the 13 year old acknowledges it.  

He and his new parents are determined to make the most of the opportunity they've been given.


Austin Carlson says, ?We had a couple problems, but we worked through it, talked about it and we've actually done a lot of neat stuff together.?


?We've had lots of tears, you know, on both sides- Austin being frustrated, us being frustrated but then we've also had a lot of laughter, probably a lot more laughter than tears,? says Clarissa.


?The hardest part was probably getting used to a new school, new friends and stuff,? Austin says.


The Calderoni's case worker, Karleen Vogt of Family Services of Northwest Pennsylvania, has seen them through the whole process and understands the ups and downs.


Vogt says, ?You get excited, you want to get going, and get things going as fast as you can but you have to remember to slow down and go at the pace that the child is capable of handling and the family and make sure all your i's are dotted and that all services are in place when you transition a child.?


But for the Calderoni's and thousands of other families across Pennsylvania, that transition has been a positive one, and with it has come not only the satisfaction of having the family they've dreamed of, but the blessing of a bond that will never be broken.


Joe says, ?It's been an interesting journey, to say the least; it's been fun in the sense that we've finally been able to see what it's going to be like to be parents.?


Clarissa says, ?We're trying to grow together... and I think that's what meshes us as a family.?



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