Blogs > All About Milford and Orange

If you live, work, or simply just care about Milford and Orange, this is the site for you. We'll provide you with interesting news about these communities. Most importantly we want to hear from you. Feel free to contact City Editor Helen Bennett Harvey, at or Brian McCready, Milford Bureau Chief, at

Monday, February 18, 2008

Family’s love just keeps on growing

By Pamela McLoughlin
Register Staff
— When Lesly Nerette told his wife, Merlyse, that he wanted to add to their family of four children, she told him quite frankly that her abdomen had been stretched enough.
But Merlyse Nerette was all for making their family grow, so they became foster parents, then adopted. And plan to adopt again.
“Once you start it, it’s hard to stop — the only thing that will stop us is the size of this house,” Lesly Nerette said.
Today, it’s more about the quality of their foster home than the quantity, and they were recently named Foster Parents of the Year by Boys and Girls Village, one of the highest honors given at the agency’s awards dinner.
“They’re so supportive of the children and they go beyond what’s expected, but they don’t make it look like there’s anything to it at all,” said therapeutic case manager Melissa Ringer.
The Nerettes, both from Haiti and big families, do make it look easy.
It’s partly because the six children in their house, including four biological, appear to have had great training: They know what their chores are, they have impeccable manners, outstanding grades and keep themselves occupied when mom and dad are busy.
They have four biological children: Marthe, 20, a student at Sacred Heart University who plans a career working with children; Emmanuel, 17, an honors student, athlete and leader at Central High School; Geranah, 10, and Lesly Jr., 8. They recently adopted Yhayquest, 13, whom they had as a foster child for five years, and have a foster son, 6, who could not be identified or photographed, but whom they plan to adopt.
They will soon welcome another foster child to the house and hope to someday have the kind of foster home where the most troubled children are cared for.
“They want love,” Merlyse Nerette said. “Just put yourself in their life.”
Lesly Nerette said at first he wasn’t sure how Yhayquest would blend in. But a few weeks into his stay, he started a little fight with one of the other kids and it was music to Lesly Nerette’s ears.
“I was happy. I said, ‘Yes, we’ve got him,’” Lesly said. “We enjoy listening to them fighting.”
The Nerettes weren’t introduced until they had each moved to the United States. Lesly Nerette said both of their mothers in Haiti were the type to help people, and there were many children in their households, not necessarily all birth siblings. In at least one case, Lesly didn’t find out until adulthood that one of the boys he grew up with wasn’t a brother.
Merlyse, who has a calmness that belies her role as mom to six and wife to type-A Lesly, is in school full time to become a social worker and would like to eventually work with children.
“I’ve always liked to help people,” she said. “We just want (the kids) to have a fair life.”


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home