2017-01-13 / Front Page

DCF helps make a family whole

Social workers take part in adoption of two small children
By Diane C. Beaudoin


Maureen and Tim Chalifoux, along with Judge Anthony Moratta, stand behind the judge’s chair with newly adopted Isabelle and Tatum Chalifoux immediately after the adoption was finalized. 
Diane C. Beaudoin photos Maureen and Tim Chalifoux, along with Judge Anthony Moratta, stand behind the judge’s chair with newly adopted Isabelle and Tatum Chalifoux immediately after the adoption was finalized. Diane C. Beaudoin photos Things happen in families that just do not seem to go in the directions we may have planned or dreamed about. When life throws a curve ball, as it did to one Leominster couple, they decided to hit that ball right out of the park.

That was accomplished with hard work, and two dedicated social workers from the state Department of Children and Families, two people who were there every inch of the way.

Timothy and Maureen Chalifoux, who have already raised their own family, were faced with the dilemma when one of their sons fathered two children with his girlfriend, and neither of the young parents was able to care for the children. The two tiny tots were facing foster care indefinitely, and an uncertain future, when Tim and Maureen decided to step in and petition for their grand babies to live with them, with the end goal being adoption.


Isabelle and Tatum Chalifoux at the Worcester courthouse on their big adoption day. 
Diane C. Beaudoin photo Isabelle and Tatum Chalifoux at the Worcester courthouse on their big adoption day. Diane C. Beaudoin photo DCF became involved and followed all the right steps, with an official adoption occurring in the Worcester courthouse on Thursday, Jan. 5.

“It has been two and a half years to get to this day,” an ecstatic Maureen Chalifoux said outside the court chamber shortly before the ceremony.

The children, 5-year-old Tatum and 3-year-old Isabelle, are both now the legal children of Tim and Maureen, and the four of them are now one big happy family.

In the process with DCF, a social worker was assigned to the children and one assigned to Tim and Maureen.

“I cannot say enough how good they were for us and the kids,” Maureen Chalifoux said. “Anything I needed was taken care of. If I had a question, they called back right away. They did all the visits with us, and also the kids. They did a tremendous job to get us to this day.”

Both social workers came to the courthouse for the ceremony, which is partly their reward for a job well done.

Terence Beck was the worker for the adults, and Pauline Forman worked with the kids.

Maureen Chalifoux said in the long and tedious process, they became more like family with the social workers, which made everything a lot easier.

Maureen Chalifoux had heard and read stories of dealings with DCF, and wanted to make sure people knew what a pleasure it was working with them to get to the finish line.

“There was not one issue we had with them,” she said, “and they did everything with the kids’ best interest at heart.”

The children have been living with Maureen and Tim for a bit over two years now, so they did not feel like brand new parents at the ceremony.

“It is not like we are starting over, and we know we are doing what we have to do,” Maureen Chalifoux said. “When this all started, we could not just throw these kids away. They are our blood. Their lifeline is Tim, who the kids lovingly call Pepere, which is French for grandfather. I work longer hours than Tim, so he is the one who gets their dinner, gives them baths and ready for bed. He plays with them, and just loves them so much. When I get home around 8 at night, they are all so happy.”

Tim and Maureen Chalifoux are both drivers for MART.

They know none of this would have been possible with Beck and Forman with them every step of the way.

When in the courtroom, the children knew it was a special day for them all, even though they may not have comprehended the magnitude of how their lives were about to take a turn for the best. Forman brought gifts for the kids and a card for Maureen and Tim. Everyone kept smiling at each other as the kids were having fun.

Judge Anthony Moratta presided over the adoption, telling the family how nice it was to see it all come together. Moratta gave each tot a stuffed animal, a pen and lollipops to celebrate the big day.

Once papers were signed, and the adoption finalized, Tim and Maureen Chalifoux let out a sigh of relief that the long journey ended the way they hoped and prayed it would.

“We cannot thank DCF enough right now, especially these two social workers. We are a family. The kids are now ours,” Maureen Chalifoux said, wiping a happy tear away.

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