Their caseworker describes Kemeatrous and Keontae as incredibly entertaining and enjoyable boys. These brothers have happy, energetic dispositions and can find the fun wherever they are. With a twinkle in their eye, each is inquisitive, curious and very enthusiastic. There is nothing more they love than roughhousing with a favorite male role model (i.e. their caseworker!) – getting tossed in their air, pretend wrestling, tackling, going hard with a ball, you name it. While they also enjoy video games, they are most at home in a gym, on a court, on a field and with a ball…or two or three! They are longing for an adult(s) who can challenge and outlast them athletically in numerous pursuits, while supporting them in their growth, development and schooling.
Brothers Kemeatrous and Keontae have already experienced a significant amount of trauma and loss in their short lives and are greatly in need of a committed, consistent, and nurturing home. They each have an optimistic, lively spirit and seem very much to want to belong to a family.
Kemeatrous is already on the path to becoming a gifted and superior athlete. Constantly on the move, he thrives on being involved in some type of activity the majority of the time. He likes being involved in almost all sports, already excelling at wrestling, basketball, soccer and gymnastics. He has a desire to play baseball and football as well – how to find the time?! Kemeatrous is relatively easy to please and is just as happy playing on his own as being with a group of people. He seeks adult approval and needs a great deal of emotional validation and encouragement from his foster parents and teachers. Kemeatrous “wears his emotions on his sleeve” and is very expressive. An affectionate boy, he loves to both give and receive physical affection.
Keontae is the classic little brother who mirrors his older brother in his interests and passions, at least for the moment. He looks up to Kemeatrous, and Kemeatrous in turn looks out for him. They are so extremely close in age that they almost act like twins at times. Keontae is equally as busy and affectionate as his brother. Keontae is flexible and easygoing and tends to assimilate into whatever group or situation happens to be around him. He is quite endearing and knows how to really turn on the charm when he wants something or when he’s trying to get himself out of trouble. He, too, is all about sport.
Kemeatrous and Keontae enjoy helping their foster father as he coaches volleyball, as well as cheering on their older sports star foster siblings at volleyball games and wrestling matches. Both brothers adore both playing sports of all kinds, along with the thrill of being spectators. They both participate on teams and follow certain professional teams closely with their foster father.
Kemeatrous and Keontae have always lived together but do have two older brothers who live separately. The four brothers have a very strong bond that will need to be nurtured and maintained. Kemeatrous and Keontae have experienced multiple placements, disappointments, trauma and grief. It is critical that a prospective adoptive family be fully and unconditionally committed to these boys as an unsuccessful move to a family could be devastating for these children.
This pair is tightly bound to both each other, and to their older brothers. “We’re brothers and we always care about each other”, Kemeatrous says of the sibling relationship. “If one gets hurt… they would help us”. The importance of maintaining and encouraging the ties they have all established and value are of undeniable significance. They need each other in their lives as much as they need a safe and loving adoptive home. “When I’m sad,” says Keontae, “they make me feel better.” An adoptive family must prioritize keeping Kemeatrous and Keontae actively connected to their older brothers.
Developmentally, they present as on track with no concerns. Educationally, academics are somewhat of a challenge for each of the brothers. They are behind their grade level to varying degrees and need considerable encouragement from their foster parents to complete their homework and try to the best of their individual abilities. In 4th and 3rd grades, on the flip side, they each seem to enjoy being at school and are well liked by their teachers and peers. They have virtually no behavior issues at school, and each boy is gradually learning to embrace reading. Despite other changes in their lives, Kemeatrous and Keontae are fortunate to have been able to remain at the same school where they are surrounded by a very caring community.
When Kemeatrous and Keontae get to see their older brothers, this time is positive and eagerly anticipated by all four brothers. The boys also visit regularly with some of their paternal relatives, and these relatives have consistently been emotionally supportive of the boys. It is absolutely imperative that an adoptive family be able to facilitate these brothers staying frequently connected to one another through numerous means, including direct in-person visits, and be supportive in general of birth family connections.
Kemeatrous and Keontae are in critical need of a committed, consistent, and nurturing home. Despite their losses, the two are a hopeful, endearing duo who need to belong to a family. Other than their academic challenges they do not present with any significant special needs at this time. The greatest challenge in parenting them is the fact that there are two of them, and in making sure each boy gets the attention that he needs and deserves. They will need to continue participating in some type of therapy (individual or sibling) as they process their adoption and transition into their adoptive family. Given their academic standings, their adoptive family will also need to advocate and stay in close contact with teachers to ensure that the boys’ individual learning needs are being met.
Most importantly, an adoptive family will need to have a clear, realistic understanding of what an adoption transition looks like for older children who have already experienced many losses. They will need to be patient and compassionate with the boys as they move through their grieving and moving-on process, and will need to meet them exactly where they are at. Their adoptive family will need to be fun, firm, strong but flexible, lively, energetic, sporty, have a good sense of humor, and be determined to care for the boys regardless of what challenges may arise.