Adoption Brings Wholeness to Local Family

Penni Theriault and her family Mark, Abby, and Jason welcomed Zoey into their family. “We told her from day one that we love her to the moon and back,” Penni said. Above is her adoption photo (with some editing) with Abby, Jason, Penni, Mark and Zoey in the front. (Photo courtesy of Penni Theriault)

By Kaileigh Deacon


Every story of adoption is different and unique to the family it touches. Penni Theriault, who runs Lots of Tots Daycare in Princeton, shared her story of adoption and how it has touched her and her family’s lives. 

When Penni’s father was two he was adopted from the Bangor Good Samaritan Home and Penni told herself that she would someday adopt. Years went by and she and her husband Mark had two children of their own and they had not adopted. 

On Christmas Eve six years ago, the Theriaults’ lives were about to change forever with a phone call. There was a baby who was sick and needed special care, and the couple jumped at the chance to help her. Penni is a childcare provider and the Department of Health and Human Services has a rule that when someone holds a childcare license they can’t hold a foster care license as well, but Penni wouldn’t be swayed. They went and picked her up and dealt with the issues later. After a lot of work, support and due to the circumstances of their case Penni was able to get the restrictions waived.  She received her Foster Care License to take care of this little girl, Zoey. 

First and foremost, they concentrated on getting Zoey healthy. Four years after they brought Zoey home, they started the adoption process. It was a long road with some disappointments in hearings that were supposed to happen and then didn’t, but eventually the process was complete. The Theriault’s formally legalized what they had already done emotionally when they brought Zoey home. “The best part of the process was when the judge looked at us and said, ‘Go home and get your little girl,’” Penni recalls.

Throughout their adoption journey, Penni and her family found that there was a whole network of support available for them. Zoey’s paternal family has been there and supportive as well as continuing to remain part of Zoey’s life. “The community that we live in and friends and family near and far have been so supportive, not just through the process but they continue to love, support and help us nurture our little girl,” Penni said. 

At six years old Zoey is happy and healthy and keeps the Theriaults on their toes and going all the time. She has a completely pink farm called the “ZBaby Farm” at her family’s home in Princeton where she has goats, chickens, bunnies, cats and dogs. Zoey and her family also make sure to keep her Native American culture alive and part of their lives. Among other things, she attends school and is active in 4H. 

“Our Zoey Grace is a piece of the puzzle to our family that we never knew was missing but could never live without. She has brought so much love, light, and joy into our lives and sometimes we totally forget that she isn’t biologically ours.” 

Penni has some advice for anyone that may be considering adoption. “If you’re thinking about adoption or even fostering, know it is the very best thing you can do. It’s an amazing experience and the difference you will make is beyond anything you could ever imagine. Let your love shine through in the eyes of a child that needs you.”