Recently, we welcomed a new Foundation Board member, Jason Paulateer, a gentle, generous man whose personal story is evidence of the type of people we want supporting Samaritas.
We just finished Adoption Month, which is the annual effort to shine a light on the very real and urgent issue of finding forever families for children needing love, stability and security. Jason’s story rings particularly true at this time, in this context.
Graduates of Cass Technical High School and Grand Valley State University, Jason and his wife Chapri started their family as most young couples do. They had a son, who passed away as an infant, but three girls followed and their life was full.
Still, Chapri always yearned to adopt. As a young girl, Chapri begged her mother to adopt, because she wanted a sibling. The loss of their son haunted them for years, and the Paulateers desired a son to complete their family. That’s when adoption became a real consideration.
One day, Chapri had lunch with a friend who happened to work in foster care services. She showed her a photo of two brothers; the sweet faces of those boys stayed in her mind for weeks. Eventually, they brought them home.
Every biological sibling that has come along since to those boys, have become part of the Paulateer family.
Today, the Paulateers are a family of 12 – three biological children, seven adopted. Six girls, four boys.
“We draw a lot of attention,” says Chapri. “Everywhere we go, people ask questions. We’re just like any other family. At the end of the day we are just a family who happens to have 10 members.”
They tell the children that they have a mom who carried them in her womb but was unable to take care of them. “And we get the privilege of taking care of them.”
Says Jason, “For me a particularly proud moment is when all the boys get up in the morning and want to wear a suit to school.”
Chapri says, “A proud moment for me is when other parents approach me and comment on how loving our kids are with one another, how they look out for one another, how they take care of each other, and how they seem to really love life.”
Jason is haunted by the number of children in Michigan who don’t have a mother and a father. He says, “Give me as many as I can have, because it’s a shame for kids to not have a mommy and a daddy. I put myself in the kids’ spot and say, ‘Where would I be today if I didn’t have my mom and my dad?’”
This work, done in service as an expression of the love of Christ, is exactly what we do at Samaritas. Learn more about how you can make a difference.
Foster Care: https://samaritas.org/child-and-family/foster-care
Meet the Paulateers here: https://vimeo.com/97764048
Sam Beals is CEO of Samaritas