The adoption process was quick and smooth, she asserts with a chuckle. “I conceived not for nine months but for only one week and became a mother of a thirteen year-old teenager.” The process to become a foster parent to Angel Face (not her real name) took only seven days! “As a mathematics teacher, I assist my foster teenage daughter in her home work. I want her to shine and I see in her a future marine biologist, photographer or violinist in the making. We are getting along just fine.”
Farheen Hakeem, is a familiar name in Minnesota, having run for Minneapolis Mayoral office in 2005, she had a shot at the District 4 County Commissioner in 2006, and will seek the endorsement of the Green Party to run for state legislature this year for 61 B District.
Farheen graduated from Oberlin College with BA in Mathematics and has been an active community organizer, leader of Girl Guide Scouts, and is currently Program Manager for “Our Voices Matter” and serves in a similar capacity with the Minneapolis Adoption Resource Network (MARN).
Her decision to adopt a teenage girl has created ripple effects among other single women in her circle who also have expressed a strong desire to follow suit.
“It takes a village to raise a child,” she authoritatively asserts. “In my own journey, many adults supported me” she argues and looking around in our community she sees many teenagers from poor and broken families who do not have the support they need. I want to step-in and be part of the solution. I want to be someone’s role model in life.”
Lorenzo Davis (left), Program Coordinator for Minneapolis Adoption Resource Network (MARN) told this reporter that last year, Minneapolis had 1544 children under state guardianship awaiting adoption. “In 2007, we were able to give homes and hope to 483 children while 642 children are still looking for adoptive families.”
Prospective parents who wish to provide the “love, support and an environment in which children can grow into healthy, productive adults” can make a phone call to MARN (612) 746-5129, or to African American Adoption Agency (651) 659-0460 or to Bethany Christian Services (763) 553-0344. Other adoption centers to call are: Downey Side Inc. (320) 240-1433 and Children’s Home Society and Family Services (651) 646-6393.
Adoptive parents who qualify after going through a background check are given special training, financial support under programs run by the Minnesota Department of Health. Adoptive parents are provided with services to care for the new family members, before and after adoption. Additional services are available for adopted children with special needs.
Lorenzo Davis adds: “We have over 400 social workers in Minnesota who make follow-up and provide a network that links parents together and consolidate ties among adoptive, foster and birth families to function”
Lorenzo appeals to good Samaritan individuals to come forward to assist those remaining children and help cut short the waiting period which was “809 days in 1995, and was reduced to 629 days in 2002, and now is down to 520 days!”
Farheen adds her voice by appealing to community members to come forward to adopt “those remaining children so that we may make a difference in their lives. She adds sympathetically, “I hate to see such wonderful kids in neglect just left out there to become another number.”