Posts Tagged ‘Holiday’

Adoption’s finality makes holiday special

Monday, December 26th, 2011


By Kimberly Primicerio
Record-Journal staff
(203) 317-2279

WALLINGFORD — Dawn and Cathy Thomas spent their first Christmas knowing their son, Jaden, would be with them forever. After obtaining an adoption license and going through a long child-matching process with the Connecticut Department of Children and Families, the local couple received Jaden when he was 21 months old in February 2010. It wasn’t until Dec. 13 that the adoption was made legal.

“It took 669 days, 17 hours and 32 minutes. We weren’t counting or anything,” Dawn Thomas, 45, said Sunday. She said the adoption process is lengthy. Some adoptable children legally have no connection to their biological parents, while others, like Jaden, still do, which extends the process. On Dec. 13, the family went to court to finalize the adoption.

On Christmas morning, Jaden, 3, was playing with a toy grocery store register. He handed out fake money to his parents and pretended to make coffee per mother Dawn’s request. He crawled around the floor in his festive sweater and khaki’s as he prepared the make-believe beverage.


Photo courtesy of the Record Journal

Although this is the family’s second holiday season together, Jaden knows more about the holiday and the meaning of Christmas than he did last year. Jaden understands that he is celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, Dawn Thomas said.

“He’s totally into the Nativity,” she said. “He knows that Santa Claus is coming to celebrate Jesus’ birthday.”

On Christmas Eve, the family sang “Happy Birthday” to baby Jesus. Jaden went to bed and didn’t wake up until 7:30 a.m. Cathy Thomas, 47, said he popped his head into the bedroom and said “I’m ready.”

“He was really excited. He wanted to see all his gifts,” Dawn Thomas said.

Both years have been magical, Dawn Thomas said. Last year, her son was overwhelmed by the amount of gifts he received from Santa and relatives. He opened only five presents before he stopped to play with other toys, Cathy Thomas said.

This year, Jaden unwrapped all the gifts piled in front of the Christmas tree. Among them, a Toy Story garbage truck and Lego men were his favorites. He put the Lego man in the driver’s seat of the truck and made motor sounds as he rolled the vehicle over the living room rug. Jaden also put some of the cash register’s fake coins into the truck.

Jaden’s Christmas playtime represents the end of a long journey for the couple. After going through fertility treatments for eight years and experiencing five miscarriages, they decided to adopt through DCF; something they had always wanted to do, Dawn Thomas said.

“We wanted to adopt a child locally,” Cathy Thomas said. The couple could have went through a private organization or internationally.

They went through training and a 10-week program. DCF employees conducted background checks and made sure that their home would be a safe environment for a child, according to Dawn Thomas.

Once Dawn and Cathy Thomas received their adoptive license in 2009, they started the child-matching process. DCF had to find the best family fit for the child, Dawn Thomas said.

In early 2010, they received a call from DCF. The couple first learned all about Jaden, and then went to meet him on two separate occasions. Typically, parents who are adopting meet the child a couple of times and then the child goes home for a night and then a weekend, Dawn Thomas said. But it didn’t happen that way. On Feb. 11, 2010 a DCF social worker called Dawn Thomas at noon and asked if they could take Jaden at 5 p.m. Cathy Thomas prepared his room, relatives bought a high chair and baby monitors. His first night in his new home, Cathy Thomas said, he slept through the night. The couple was up all night checking on their new son while he was fast asleep.

Dawn Thomas said it’s been amazing and wonderful. It wasn’t too traumatic going from being childless to having a kid to raise, she said. As trying as it was to Cathy to experience miscarriages, Dawn Thomas said, God has a plan and now they have Jaden in their lives.

“We’ve enjoyed every second of having him,” Dawn Thomas said. “He’s been a blessing from God. We thank God every day.”

“He’s beautiful and perfect,” she said. “He even looks like us.” Both parents have olive skin and curly hair, and so does Jaden.

For people considering adoption or becoming a foster parent, call 888-KID-HERO for more information.

FROM WALLINGFORD – Mother’s Day and birthday

Sunday, May 8th, 2011

by Jason Zandri


Sunday May 8th is Mother’s Day. It also happens to be my birthday and every few years both coincide on the same day like this year.

I remember as a child hating when this would occur because I wanted to have my birthday all to itself and not have to share it with another event. My family would be over my grandmother’s house to celebrate Mother’s Day and even though we might have had cake the night before to celebrate my birthday, I tired of hearing “Happy Mother’s Day” when it fell on May 8th.

I always tried to remember to make a little something for my mother for Mother’s Day. As I got older and made a little more money I would buy her things. They were mostly sentimental to her and rarely anything she really needed.

I felt at the time that I never really caught the whole grasp of the holiday. My mother did her thing; she took care of the house and made it a home. There was always something to eat if I was hungry and when my jacket needed mending I’d simply need to let her know and the next time I wore it the tear was fixed. If there was something going on she knew enough when to ask about it and also when to just leave me alone to figure it out on my own. I didn’t see the point of a holiday about it. I mean she was doing her thing. That was a cause for a holiday? Why not police officer day and sales clerk day too? I felt I never understood it.

I’m older now and I recently had the infamous “you’re not my mother” conversation with my wife.

“What are you getting me for Mother’s Day?” she would ask.

“Nothing – you’re not my mother,” was my response.

I was respectful when I said it but I felt the statement was the case – I wasn’t going to get her anything from myself because she wasn’t my mother. I expected nothing different from her come Father’s Day.

After the conversation I took my daughter with me for a ride down to Sweet Cioccolata so she could pick out things to get for her mother.

“Now remember, four small things for you and your brothers to give to Mommy,” I would tell her and she’d go around and point to the things she’d want to get.

“What about the flowers, Daddy?”

“What flowers?”

“There are no flowers for Mommy here. We’ll have to make another stop.”

( Angela is five, by the way).

“OK – we’ll go uptown to Wallingford Flower,” I would tell her and she’d smile.

We’d go in and say hi to Sal and my daughter would stare into the flower case. Sal would ask “which flowers do you want for your Mommy?”

Angela always manages to find pretty close to the most expensive arrangement in the case.

We’d head home with everything and I’d round up the kids to hand them the gifts to give to their mother. Angela always wants to hand over the flowers she picked out of the case so I let her.

The four kids are all around my wife and she smiles as they eat the candy that was for her and she is holding the flowers. “Thank you for the flowers,” she would say.

“Don’t thank me, Angela picked them out,” I would smirk back.

All this hoopla for a single-day celebration — when a mother’s work is 365 days a year, mostly around the clock, and the pay and benefits stink. If you had to actually hire someone to do it you’d either never find a suitable candidate or you’d have to pay a fortune for them.

Well . . . now that I think about it, maybe I do get the meaning of the holiday after all.

Gee, thanks Mom!

People’s United Bank surprises me twice today

Friday, September 10th, 2010

So in an earlier post today I wrote about how People’s United Bank was stepping up to partner with the City of New Haven to save their Christmas Tree.

I started off the post with a bit of a downer comment because I was having issues with customer service (I had actually just gotten off the phone with them prior to writing the post).

People’s United Bank corporate communications people read that posting and brought it to the attention of Steven Santino, the Vice President that oversees the customer experience department. Steven promptly looked up my information and called me. I missed the call and had to return his voicemail but when I did call back he took my call immediately.

Upon speaking with him regarding what was going on (a discrepancy with what I believe I deposited in the ATM to what was actually being credited on my account) he promised that he would look into it and follow up on Monday with me regarding what he could uncover.

So for me in a world with overall diminishing customer service, that speaks volumes.

I may or may not like the outcome and final resolution of the issue but knowing that People’s United Bank puts that kind of premium on the customer relationship (especially a regular consumer one with not a whole lot of real money for them to make from it) makes for high marks in my book. 

So kudos People’s United Bank for stepping up and partnering with the community to save a Christmas Tree and kudos again for investing the time and effort to ensure good customer experience and service.

While it may not seem like many care about service and will go somewhere else to save a dime, there are many other people like myself that will spend an extra dollar to get it as long as it meets or exceeds expectations.

To have someone reach out proactively like that exceeds my expectations. Thanks Steven – I look forward to the follow up on Monday.

People’s United Bank to save the New Haven Christmas Tree

Friday, September 10th, 2010

I have to admit that right now I am having a customer service related issue with People’s United Bank that will most likely not get resolved favorably to the point where I am liable to sever my 15+ year relationship with them.

Having said that, I give credit where credit is due too and for them to step up like this is commendable.

The City of New Haven is entering into a partnership with People’s United Bank to save the New Haven Christmas Tree.

Much like the cutting of the funding for our fireworks display here in Wallingford out of the budget this past summer, the city of New Haven had to make similar cuts from their budget and one of the casualties of those cuts was the funding for the Christmas Tree.

People’s United Bank will be presenting the City with a $20,000 check donation which will cover the cost of transporting, decorating and maintaining a Norway Spruce on the New Haven Green in the winter months. People’s United will be providing children at this event with piggy banks, chocolate candy canes and other giveaways in celebration of this donation.

So while I try to resolve my own issue with you People’s United Bank, kudos to you for stepping up and partnering with the community. 


Saturday, November 28th, 2009

As originally posted on the Wallingford Center Inc. blog








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Saturday, November 28th, 2009

As originally posted on the Wallingford Center Inc. blog

Town Hall
Meet Santa and Mrs. Claus!!

There wasn’t a time listed there and I didn’t see anything on the town website except for the road closure notice for the event:

Pursuant to Town Ordinance #415 South Main Street will be closed to all motor vehicle traffic from the intersection of Center Street to the intersection of Prince Street on Saturday, December 5, 2009 from 12:30 PM to 5:30 PM for the purpose of "Season of Celebration," a Town-sponsored family festival.

If anything gets posted there or in the Record Journal I’ll update this post.