The Mandelburg Family - Two Generations of Foster Care
Carried across two generations, with a life line to extended family, the Mandelburg's from Waterford, are making a significant impact on CT’s foster children. Their stories are astonishing and their influence on others is evident.
Meg and Gary Mandelburg have four adult birth children, one adopted son and eighteen grandchildren. They were licensed as Medically Complex Foster parents in 2005 and have been providing care for the past fifteen years. When they were initially licensed, Meg’s daughter, Kaye-Leigh, was 16 years old, and developed a relationship with a foster child who was placed as an infant. The baby lived with Meg and her family for four months before being reunified back home.
When this same child was placed back into foster care, Kaye-Leigh, who was now an adult and living on her own, was licensed to care for this baby. Kaye-Leigh and her husband, have been licensed since 2018 as an Adoptive Resource and adopted this little girl. Ironically, both Meg and Kaye-Leigh were licensed by the very same social worker, Karen Kiely Smith, 13 years apart. The longevity in staffing brings Meg and her daughter much comfort in the work that they do.
(Click on the Easter Bunnies above to watch a short video or visit: https://youtu.be/UY2Fb-H3t7I)
The foster children in the Mandelburg’s life are treated as their own and spend time with them traveling across the state, sharing holidays and family traditions. Meg’s niece and nephew, who live in Virginia, fell in love with two foster children placed into their home. They had become acquainted during holidays and family gatherings throughout the years. When reunification was no longer a viable option for the two children, Megan’s niece expressed an interest in being an adoptive resource. With approval from the Department, they began a visitation arrangement with the children with an Interstate Compact agreement in place. The plan is to have the children move to this new home in the near future.
The permanency plan for the children now is to be adopted by Meg’s niece and nephew. Meg is delighted and ever so grateful that she will continue to have a relationship with the children, a true happily ever after for the Mandelburg family. It is through Meg and Gary’s natural way of life that others have been influenced to follow in their path and provide a home for children in need.
This past Easter Meg said that she was feeling discouraged about social isolation and was missing her children and grandchildren. Determined to bring a smile to all of her Grandchildren’s faces, she and her husband dressed up as bunnies and visited their children and grandchildren throughout a day that spanned travel to three towns. In the spirit of innocence, the children believed that their Grandparents were in fact the Easter Bunnies and received candy and tender loving care through the closed windows. Meg said that their little faces were simply precious, an image that will not soon leave her mind.
Meg and Gary Mandelburg, from Waterford, are currently licensed and caring for two foster children and their adopted son, age 13.