Toddler welcomed into Clairton family on National Adoption Day
Ever since she began babysitting for neighborhood children when she was 10, Louise Florenz knew she had a knack for raising children and hoped to one day have a large family of her own.
“I've always loved kids, especially the really little ones, and have been taking care of kids nearly all my life,” said Florenz, 34, of Clairton, who has cared for more than 30 foster children during the past five years. “I feel like I have a lot of love to offer them and want to do as much as I can to help them.”
Last year, Florenz, a single mother with two biological daughters — Amanda, 13, and Wendy, 10 — “gave them the brother they always wanted” by adopting Brett, 3, for whom she has cared since he was 15 days old.
On Saturday, which was National Adoption Day, Florenz appeared in Allegheny County Family Court, Downtown, to add to her brood by adopting Brett's 19-month-old biological sister, Erin, for whom she has cared since she was 5 weeks old. Adoption proceedings were held for about 40 other children.
Dressed in a navy blue sailor's outfit, Erin clutched her favorite baby doll as Judge Kathleen R. Mulligan finalized the adoption with the declaration: “Hereafter, she shall be known as Erin Lee Florenz, the daughter of Louise Florenz. Congratulations!”
While Florenz acknowledges that raising a large family can be challenging, she said any difficulties are outweighed by the joy she experiences.
“It's fun, I love it,” she said. “It can be hard sometimes, but I get a lot of help from my daughters, mother, grandmother, aunts and cousins.”
By early next year, Florenz hopes to adopt another boy, a 19-month-old foster child for whom she is caring.
“A permanent, stable, loving home is incredibly important to all children,” said Marc Cherna, director of the county's Department of Human Services. “While DHS always strives to support these goals with a child's birth family, we are grateful to the individuals who open their hearts and homes through adoption to those children for whom a return to the birth family is not an option.”
While Florenz knows that serving as a foster parent or providing a child with a permanent home through adoption is not for everyone, she hopes more people will consider it.
“I was lucky to be raised by my mother and father,” Florenz said. “But there are a lot of children who aren't so lucky. I would say to anyone who has ever thought they had something to offer a child to consider becoming a foster parent or adopting a child of their own.”
Tony LaRussa is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7987 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- August Wilson Center’s financial woes leave little guys in a lurch
- Allegheny County police union cool to park rangers plan
- Mild, mainly cloudy summer has kept smog levels at bay in W.Pa.
- Carnegie Mellon University picks architect for business school
- Farm animal advocate, inspired by life in Warsaw Ghetto, urges vegan lifestyle
- Allegheny County Council’s motto plan expands
- Newsmaker: Richard J. Federowicz
- Despite PSU-Central Fla., Dubliners slow to embrace American football
- Police say Bloomfield man leashed dog with Xbox cord, injuring it
- Fire damages church’s roof in Pittsburgh’s Allentown section
- Uber and Lyft say they’ll rely on PennDOT inspections for safety