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Feature Articles

Adoption changes the lives of one couple
who launches a business to bring
awareness to older child adoption

By Kim Phagan-Hansel

It was a mild health scare in 2010 that forever changed Rosine McCauley’s life. When some medical tests came back with a few concerns, Rosine decided she needed to take up a new cause in her life. A few weeks later she was introduced to Florida-based Community Partnership for Children and signed up to mentor a child.

“They were looking for some new mentors,” Rosine said. “I thought ‘that is what I’m supposed to do.’”

A few weeks later Rosine met 16-year-old Stephen Klinker, who was living in a group home. Quiet and reserved, Rosine was determined to give Stephen more normal teenage experiences.

“Stephen had been living in a group home since he was 6 years old,” Rosine said. “He was extremely quiet.”

But Rosine found a way to get Stephen to open up when she gave him a cell phone. The two started texting back and forth and Stephen began to share more and more of his story.

“What an amazing tool for kids,” Rosine said. “Stephen started sharing his feelings with me via text. And every time we saw each other we knew a little more about each other.”

Pretty soon Rosine’s husband Curt was joining the two on their excursions and a strong relationship between the three began to build. It wasn’t long before Stephen asked the McCauleys to adopt him. The McCauleys officially adopted Stephen the day after his 17th birthday.

For the couple who never had children, Stephen fit well into their lives. With Curt, a sea captain, and Rosine, an assistant harbor master at Palm Coast Marina in Florida, the couple had never felt like young children would fit well into their daily life. But meeting Stephen made them realize that children of all ages need families.

“Teenagers are great — they fit into our lifestyle,” Rosine said. “It’s been such an unbelievable journey. The risk is worth the reward.”

With Stephen, the couple has experienced many firsts — his first prom, graduation, car and much more. Now in college, but still living at home, Stephen is equally appreciative of all the factors that brought him together with his parents.

“I have a good family,” Stephen said. “It’s been people to help me instead of staff to watch over me.”

Since the McCauleys have had such a life-changing experience since Stephen came into their lives, Rosine wanted to do something to help other children like Stephen.

“These kids deserve families,” Rosine said. “I want to get more people involved with mentoring and adopting older children. I want to help people realize they have to knock down that wall of fear factors.”

Rosine’s father, comedian John Byner always emphasized the word nice and would say, “When things are good, they’re niiiice.” Since that phrase has always made Rosine smile, she wanted to do something that would emphasize the word as well. A year ago, she launched the Niice Stuff line of clothing products. Through the line, which stands for Nurturing Individuals Inspiring Children Everyday, Rosine is trying to raise awareness about teens in foster care who need families.

“I wanted to do something to help more kids in foster care in this country,” Rosine said. “Your chances of being adopted go way down when you turn 12.”

Rosine also gives a portion of the proceeds from the sale of her products to Community Partnership for Children. While Rosine sells her products at the marina store, she’s also marketing to a national audience in hopes of spreading the Niice nationwide.

“Our goal is to take this national,” Rosine said. “It’s a love. I’m on a mission and I’m not stopping.”

Stephen helps Rosine with various parts of the business when he can and he said he believes in her mission to help others.

“Foster kids are not all bad,” Stephen said. “It’s not always the children’s fault that they’re in places.”

For Rosine, watching Stephen come into his own person with the support and love of a family is all the evidence she needs to spread the word about foster care adoption.

“Stephen just needed to know someone had his back and loved and cared about him,” Rosine said. “He’s inspired me to be the best I can be. And people need to be aware that these kids need families.”

For more information on Niice Stuff, visit http://niicestuff.com/ or call 888-247-1313.

Feature Article Archive

July/August 2014
Parenting Teens

May/June 2014
Celebrating National Foster Care Month

March/April 2014
Working within the System

January/February 2014
The Dynamics of Working with Birth Parents and Kinship Caregivers

November/December 2013
Navigating Behavioral Issues with Children

September/October 2013
Back to School Parenting Guide

July/August 2013
Traditional Versus Therapeutic Foster Care

May/June 2013
National Foster Care Month

March/April 2013

January/February 2013
Kinship Care

November/December 2012
Understanding the Impact of Trauma and Abuse

September/October 2012
Nurturing Identity

July/August 2012
Working with Birth Families 

May/June 2012
Celebrating National
Foster Care Month:
Finding Support 

March/April 2012
Parenting Teens 

January/February 2012
Grief, Loss & Anger in Foster Care

November/December 2011
Promoting Better Communication Among the Foster Care Team 

July/August 2011
Discipline Techniques for Foster Parenting

May/June 2011
Celebrating National Foster Care Month

September/October 2011

March/April 2011
The Impact of Social Networking on Foster Care

January/February 2011
My Personal Foster Care Experience and What I've Learned

November/December 2010
Support Organizations Provide Assistance to Foster Families, Children

September/October 2010
The Importance of Keeping Siblings Connected in Foster Care

July/August 2010
Foster Care Health Care: Finding alternative therapies for healing 

May / June 2010
Celebrate National Foster Care Month and Foster Families Nationwide

March/April 2010
Kinship Care - The best interest for children or a foster care alternative?

January/February 2010
Emancipation or Family - Uncovering what's best for teens  

November/December 2009
Discovering What Foster Parents Really Need to Parent

July/August 2009
The Importance of Continuing Education for Foster Parents

May/June 2009
Celebrating National Foster Care Month

March/April 2009
Tips for Parenting Children into the Teen Years 

January/February 2009
Finding the Money Connection in Foster Care

November/December 2008
Looking Ahead at the Future of Foster Car

September/October 2008
Living the Daily Realities of Foster Care 

July/August 2008
Recognizing the Importance of Birth Parent Connection  

May/June 2008
Celebrate National Foster Care Month in May 

March/April 2008
Encouraging Foster Parents to Take Care of Themselves  

January/February 2008
Tips to Help Parents Tackle the Teenage Years

November/December 2007
Becoming the Best Parent for Children in Your Care

July/August 2007
Helping Children and Families Cope with Special Needs Issues

May / June 2007
The Power of Family

March / April 2007
Fostering Un
derstanding in Our Schools

January / February 2007
Finding Inner Peace in Parenting

November / December 2006
Are You My Family?

September / October 2006
Girl Scouts Beyond Bars

July / August 2006
Traditionally Speaking

May / June 2006
From Ward of the State to Defender of the Country

March / April 2006
Becoming Foster Parents

January / February 2006
Thank You, Foster Parents!

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