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Family's Adoption Nightmare

Good Morning America

September 2019

"Social media is changing the landscape for adoption. Allowing birth mothers to connect with potential adopters. But for one family, the unthinkable became their reality. Samantha and David wanted nothing more than to have a family and after trying for years."


"It's increasingly common for them to adopt on social media and there's lot of benefits to it but I think it's opening up passages for people to take advantage."


"Reporter: So that's what the Stewarts did, they set up an Instagram account @findingbabystewart and soon after a connection. We were ecstatic. I called my parents and told them, hey, you're going to be grandparents. Reporter: Quickly their excitement faded when they realized their connection was too good to be true." 

Larry Johnson, counselor with Chris 180 and foster parent, speaks at Chris 180 main office in Atlanta on Friday, December 16, 2016. 

A foster care Christmas ‘blessing’


December 2016

"... Arriving into the care of the state Division of Family and Children Services, the three siblings confronted a bleak reality. It’s rare to find an adoptive family willing to take in three siblings, meaning they’d likely have to split up. Their case managers came and went. They are on their fourth one in 18 months and, as each has disappeared, the boys had to come to know a new worker unfamiliar with them and their circumstances. 


"But as the holiday season approached, their story took a surprisingly joyful turn. They are being adopted, all of them, into the same family."

Kathy Colbenson, CEO of CHRIS 180, speaks to WSB-TV news

Number of foster kids in Georgia nearly doubles since 2013

WSB-TV Atlanta

December 2016

"I think we've just got a lot of work to do," said Kathy Colbenson, CEO of CHRIS 180, a local child-welfare organization. Colbenson spoke with Channel 2 investigative reporter Aaron Diamant about her critical takeaway after another confirmation of Georgia's growing foster care crisis. 


"'If we didn't know, we wouldn’t be having this conversation, if the numbers weren't increasing, so that's good,' Colbenson said.

"New state records show the number of kids in state-sponsored foster care skyrocketed from 7,600 in September 2013 to 13,266 last month. That 75 percent increase over three years is the highest in the nation."

Casterline, founder of e-commerce confectionary Madison Street Bakehouse, speaks to People Magazine

From Foster Care Kid to Bakery Owner: Meet New York Entrepreneur Shareena Casterline

People Magazine

November 2016

For Shareena Casterline, 30, a traumatic upbringing didn’t slow her ambitious nature – in fact, a troubled past pushed her to move to New York to open a boutique online bakery.


“I’m living my dream,” says Casterline, founder of e-commerce confectionary Madison Street Bakehouse, known for their signature “Maddy” cookie, made from roasted ground almonds with notes of citrus and Madagascar vanilla.


Given up by her parents at the age of 3 and later abandoned by her grandmother and aunt, the Colorado native was shuffled to different group homes and foster care placements for 7 years – combating loneliness and dejection in the system by playing make-believe.

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