Meet Mackenzie

We would like to introduce you to our December Child of the Month- Mackenzie:

Roughly six years ago, we got “the call”—the call asking us to consider taking in a sweet girl that had just turned 6 years old. She needed a home, and this was her second time in care. “The final is tomorrow and chances are good she could need forever,” they said. After dealing with a couple of pretty intense teens, a sweet little girl was just what we needed and without hesitation (or calling Bucky for his opinion) I said “Absolutely! When will she be here?” This is a day I will always remember—our first semi-shy placement. She came in quietly and headed straight for her “new” room and waiting for her was a very impatient “new” sister. Caliegh played with her while I finished paperwork, and then we headed to town to get her some clothes and shoes, since she came with so little.

She requested Burger King, and we went to Old Navy where she was set free to find anything she wanted, which wound up being a purple jacket with a silver sequin star. From there we went to look for shoes, and she picked two pair of “bobs,” a pink and blue pair, and a silver pair of shoes. Mackenzie spent a little over two years in our home as a foster placement. Bio mom relinquished her rights, which is usually great right? Well it was—until we were notified that she appealed her own relinquishment. This dragged the process out for at least 6 months. We knew this girl was meant to be ours forever pretty early on. We were overjoyed when we were notified that her birth mother’s appeal had made it all the way up to the Supreme Court—and was DENIED! The relinquishment was upheld.

We officially added Mackenzie Grace Broadus on January 30, 2015. I am so glad we said yes to this precious girl! She has brought so much joy, love and sass. She is the perfect fit to our wild bunch!

-Terri Broadus, foster/adoptive parent

Meet Liam

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Meet Liam, our November Child of the Month.

Liam is 5 years old and lives with his two Daddies, his adopted brother who is six, and two foster brothers who are two and four. Our house is full of stinky boys but there is lots of love.

Liam D. came into care early in 2015. The year 2015 was wild and crazy for us and also for Liam. We became foster parents in 2014 and our first placement was also named Liam. He was 12 months old. After living in our home for almost a year, Liam B. was moved to Oklahoma to live with family members. Even though we still had Emmitt in our home, our world was turned upside down when Liam B. was moved. We fought a long and costly battle, but the Man above had a different plan for us.

About one month after Liam #1 was moved, our agency called to see if we were ready for a new placement and they told us about Liam #2. He was about 23 months at the time and had been removed because his biological Mom had made some bad decisions. She was very young and did not have a good support system. She had been arrested and left Liam with a friend of hers to take care of him. This person did not take very good care of him, and law enforcement found drugs hidden in Liam’s stroller when they made a drug bust that included this friend. He was also bruised from head to toe and they were never able to determine who had hurt him.

When our agency called about Liam, we were still grieving the loss of Liam #1. and could not even say the name Liam without reliving the pain. After discussing this and deciding that the time was not right, we called our agency to tell them we decided against taking Liam. Our decision felt right but it didn’t feel right. After a few minutes we called back and we were told that a placement had been found within our agency. We told them if anything ever happened to him and if he ever needed a home to call us. Four months later, this is exactly what happened. They needed to find a new home for Liam and called us – we instantly said yes. We had time to heal and Emmitt needed a brother. We knew that this was meant to be.

Liam was 27 months old when he became part of our family. Things moved really fast from that point. After meeting his Mom a couple times and her seeing how much we loved Liam, she decided to sign over rights so that he could have the life he deserved, a life that she could not offer. On September 30, 2016, six short months after our first adoption, we adopted Liam Dean. While Caleb’s Closet was not around when Liam was adopted, they have provided clothing and other items for Liam, as well as our other adopted son and the many other children we have fostered over the years.

-Story submitted by Shane Moran, Caleb’s Closet Treasurer. He and husband Adam have adopted two sons and have fostered 15 other children ranging in ages from 12 months – nine years over the past 4 ½ years.

Meet Avi


Avi came into care at 10 months old. He and his mother had been living on the streets. He was a very sick little boy. By the time he came to my home at 2 years old, he had been to so many homes and with so many different people, that he had no understanding of stranger awareness. He would wander off with anyone who spoke to him and often didn’t understand why strangers were hesitant to pick him up. He didn’t understand what a family was at all. I had to be hyper vigilant to make sure he didn’t disappear on me when we went somewhere.

A month before he moved to our home, he met his biological older brother. The boys had never known about each other. When he came to my home, his brother came as well and we started the process of explaining to a 2 and 4 year old what family is.

Two weeks after Avi came to us, he turned 3. He had a big birthday party and I remember him being so confused about what was going on. I will never forget the moment we gathered around to sing happy birthday and his face lit up with a smile. He still didn’t understand what a birthday was, but he was so excited to be the center of attention. The happiness in his eyes still brings me to tears.

Avi’s journey hasn’t been easy. He has had many obstacles to overcome. He still has food issues and probably will his entire life. He doesn’t consciously remember starving, but his little baby brain does. I have to reassure him that we will eat food every day and he will always have some.

We are constantly learning new ways to help Avi cope with the world around him. He has come so very far since we got him, but he has issues that he will always struggle with. It’s incredibly hard as a mother to watch your child struggle to be at peace in his own skin. But despite all his hardships, he is in love with the world around him.

Avi and his brother Levi were adopted in August of 2016. He now knows what family means and he is quick to tell everyone that I am his Mommy forever and ever. He has a huge community of family and friends who love him fiercely.

Today Avi is a precocious 6 year old. He is always singing and smiling and loves to be around people. His smile can light up a room and he is a joy to those around him. His smiles mean everything to me.

I knew that the decision to become a foster parent would test me in ways I didn’t know yet. I will honestly say that Avi has tested me to my very limits. I thought there were days I would break, but to see his smile and see his eyes light up I would break over and over again. This is the most difficult thing that I have ever done and also the most rewarding. I thank God every day that he chose me to be Avi’s mommy.

-Kori Strange, Caleb’s Closet President


Meet Taylor

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In January 2017, T was placed in our home one Tuesday evening. He had a trash bag of belongings, consisting of a few outfits sizes 6-7. He was 3 years old. The only clothes he had that fit him were the dirty, tattered shirt and pants he was wearing. He made himself at home pretty quickly, which we first thought was pretty cool of him. We found out that he was in the 6th home environment of his life, so he had learned to adapt rapidly. Since first removed from his birth parents as an infant, he had been shuffled between family members and foster homes, spending a few months back with one of his parents before being removed and shuffled around again.

Though he adapted to our home pretty quickly on the surface, T spent weeks waking up multiple times per night. He was often crying, but sometimes he was screaming from night terrors. By the age of 3, this kid had experienced and witnessed situations no kid should ever have to go through- abuse, sexual acts, drug use, and neglect.

When he came to our home, we needed clothes, toys, and some dignity for this young man. Caleb’s Closet provided T with all the essentials and several extras, along with support and friendship from the two ladies who founded the organization.

Our home, our family, is the longest he has ever spent with one family unit. He’s almost 5 now, and we were able to adopt him earlier this year. He asks us regularly if he can stay with us forever. We will probably spend the rest of his life reassuring him that he’s not going anywhere without us.

Now that he’s adopted into our family, he will never have to be without. You might even say he’s a tiny bit spoiled. 😊 Through it all, we are teaching T what it means to give back to kids who, like him, have no belongings. He has learned by example what it means to be part of a community, helping those most vulnerable among us.

– Liz McKinney, Caleb’s Closet Board Member

Meet Madilynn Grace

Madi Grace

Meet Madilynn Grace. Madilynn arrived at her Lubbock foster home with a diaper bag full of dirty clothing covered in vomit and reeking of cigarettes. The diaper bag also held a handful of partially smoked cigarettes and a bloody rag. That is everything she owned. When she was 2 months old she was shaken, called a “little b$#@!” and slammed into her car seat where she spent almost all of her time. She was severely overfed because every time she cried, she would get a bottle shoved in her mouth to “shut her up.” So, she spent her days getting yelled at and vomiting in her car seat from being overfed. This is not an example of what could happen. This was my daughter’s reality before she came to us. If there had not been a foster home for her to go to, Madilynn would have continued to live that horror daily.

Some may feel that Madilynn’s story is too upsetting to share. But this is the reality for too many children. We often don’t understand the reality of what these children face until we are willing to open ourselves up to the emotional side of it. If it is upsetting for us to read these children’s stories, imagine what it is like for these children to live in these tragic situations.

Please, consider being a foster parent. These children are our responsibility. They need people willing to walk through this storm with them.

“But, it’s not a good time for us.” There will never be a perfect time in your life. These children are dealing with abuse and neglect right now, this minute. This is an emergency. You would not tell your 2 month old baby that you would love to help but it is not a good time for you.

“I’m scared of getting hurt.” They are too. It’s already happening to them right now. If you can say their safety is more important than your feelings, then you can do this.

You can foster with the plan to adopt. You can foster only. We can send you in the right direction. We know the people you need to talk to. Caleb’s Closet was founded by and is still run by foster parents. We will go to an information meeting with you. WE WILL DRIVE YOU THERE. If you have space in your home and heart, we are asking you on their behalf to please go now. Get licensed. There are not near enough foster homes in our community. You could be a safe place for a kid to go.

Madilynn Grace- her story started with abuse and severe neglect but it did not end there. She is forever in a safe home and fiercely loved because we said she was more important than our feelings. She is so, incredibly worth everything we experienced while on our foster care journey with her. – Frances Cardoza, Co-Founder of Caleb’s Closet