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Mains family grows by two

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By Jamie Baker-Nantz

Tom and Maria Mains wanted children of their own.

After the Williamstown couple got married they tried for several years but had no luck.

Maria, a 2001 graduate of Grant County High School, began to lobby Tom, a 1989 graduate of Pendleton County High School, about becoming foster parents. It took five years of sweet-talking before he finally agreed.

In 2006, they received their first “children.” They’ve fostered nearly a dozen children since then. Some stay as little as 36 hours, while others have been with the Mains’ for two years.

In 2008, a toddler named Nate, who was 22 months old, came to stay with them, followed by Aleigha, who was a mere 3 months old.

After living with them for a short time, the Mains knew they wanted the children to permanently become part of their family, so they began the long adoption process.

Two other times they had come close to adopting, but it didn’t work out.

“We got him in March and she followed in January, so that’s all they’ve known is each other,” Maria said. “It just seemed natural.”

Their family became complete on Feb. 24. When the adoption was finalized in Grant Family Court, many family members, including grandmas and grandpas, were there to celebrate.

Grandparents include Hope and Cat Catron of Corinth, Mitchell Collett of Walton, Ronnie and Diane Mains of Falmouth and Andy and Janie Paliobagis of Crittenden.

“It was a great feeling the day it was final. They’re ours and no one is going to take them away,” Maria said.

Because Maria has always wanted a large family, she might be open to adopting a few more children.

“We’re staying open to the notion of adoption, either the siblings of these two or someone we’ve fostered before,” she said.

The adoption process began with a 10-week class and background check. They began in June 2006 and received certification in October.

The couple was certified on a Wednesday and two days later they received their first placement.

The couple said the hardest part is getting attached.

“It’s quick and easy,” Maria said. “It’s hard letting them go, especially back to their parents when you know they aren’t fit.”

“But sometimes parents just make a mistake and then get back on track,” Tom said.

The couple try to stay in contact with previous foster children and even attempt to get together several times a year with them.

Maria said being a foster parent has been a positive experience, despite the pain of having to let children go when their time is up.

“It might be hard, but you know that it might have been the best time of their life,” she said.

“It’s harder than what I thought,” Tom said. “You tell yourself you’re not going to get attached, but you can’t help it.”