A modern family embraces 10-year-old Kadir

By Matt Gelb, Staff Writer
POSTED: December 26, 2015
Kadir LaLena pushed his finger against the glass of the small tank in his mother's living room. Michelangelo, his pet turtle, was hiding. Gina LaLena guided the boy's hand.

He'll come out, she said. He'll think it's food.

Five years ago, Kadir came to LaLena as another foster child who required a bed for the weekend. She was divorced before age 25, was unable to conceive a child, and felt adrift. Hers was 5-year-old Kadir's 16th long-term home. He is autistic. He suffers from ADHD, sensory processing disorder, and other developmental delays.

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