Adoption Day: Niles family adopts four more children

Published 8:54 pm Thursday, December 1, 2005

By By JOHN EBY / Cassopolis Vigilant
CASSOPOLIS - Faith and Mike Cameron, both 45, always talked about taking a cruise for their 25th wedding anniversary.
Instead, they piled their burgeoning second family into a camper and traveled to Brown County, Ind.
The Niles couple, who met in a church youth group at 17, already raised three children before becoming foster parents 2 1/2 years ago.
They have adopted four children, with plans to finalize adoptions of two other foster children in their care.
In all, the Cameron household contains six youngsters 9 or younger.
They are finding their second ride on the parenting merry-go-round as satisfying - if not more so - than the first, they said while attending Cass County's program for the third annual Michigan Adoption Day sponsored by the state Department of Human Services (DHS) and the state Supreme Court.
The Camerons witnessed two adoptions before Judge Susan L. Dobrich, who presides over Circuit Court Family Division, one of a preschool girl in a frilly pink dress to a Decatur family, reuniting her with an older half-sister.
She has been the caseworker on three of the Camerons four adoptions.
Cass County DHS Director Chris Kadulski estimated that statewide 270 children would be adopted in 40 counties.
That number has increased from 25 the former prosecutor's first year on the bench a decade ago.
Nicole is 8; Tara is 3 1/2; Meredith is 23 months old; and Thomas is 18 months old.
The Cameron's grown children are ages 24, 22 and 20. They also have a grandson.
Mike coaches Optimist soccer, which is a new experience for him.
The 9-year-old foster son (the foster daughter is 6) is starting to play basketball.
Energizing him is the “fulfillment we get from knowing we're taking care of children. That's what it's about. All the rest of the stuff is necessary, but it's not front-and-center anymore,” Mike said of the reordering of his priorities.