Meet Avi, Meira and Eliran. Avi and Meira are a couple who wanted to raise a child together but were unable to conceive. After investigating several possible avenues, including surrogacy, they decided that fostering would be the option best suited for them.
After passing Orr Shalom’s extensive screening process and training courses, Avi and Meira received the phone call they had been anxiously anticipating: There was a baby boy who needed a foster family.
When they met Eliran, he was 8 months old. He had been born to a teenager who had been living on the streets. She was an addict and had been using drugs while pregnant with Eliran, and he was born with complications including withdrawal from drugs and alcohol. He was in the lowest percentile for height and weight. He cried all the time. Avi and Meira did everything they had learned through Orr Shalom in order to acclimate Eliran to their home. They used the same laundry detergent that had been used in the hospital so that Eliran would smell the same smells. They did not let any of their family or friends hold Eliran for the first few months, so that Eliran would learn that Avi and Meira were the stable characters in his life. But it was a difficult transition: Eliran cried seemingly without pause for nearly three months. In their most exhausted moments Avi and Meira thought to themselves, is this too much? What were we thinking? Wracked by guilt, they turned to their Orr Shalom social worker, who was making weekly visits to their home. She held their questions and their exhaustion and counselled them through the most difficult parts of this transition.
Now their social worker typically visits their home once a month. Eliran is now 4 years old and is still the smallest in his preschool, wearing clothes made for one-year-olds. He has received as ASD diagnosis and has several developmental and emotional delays as compared to his peers. At the same time, Eliran is happy and bonded to Avi and Meira.
Avi and Meira are in constant contact with their Orr Shalom team, who have provided continuous support and practical and emotional assistance in their journey. From advocating for their rights to have access to Eliran’s medical history, providing the family with personal aides, helping Eliran receive his diagnoses and register in the right preschool, Avi and Meira know that they can count on their Orr Shalom team for anything and everything. Our ability to ensure a positive foster experience is made possible thanks to the generosity of the Esther and Pedro Rosenblatt Foundation.