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June 02, 1995 - Image 73

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1995-06-02

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Fain, I y Affair

I

Ah ecaor tusp lwe topee tnhse hr ec h i r hl dor e m ne and

return the favor to others.

JENNIFER FINER STAFF WRITER

easy

to do." And while some of her class-
mates question her willingness to help, she
doesn't let their occasional comments both-
er her.
"All of our children are caring and cannot
do enough for others," Mr. May said. "Aman-
da is always ready to help others. When she
first started working with a population that
frightens people, she jumped right in."
Often, Amanda will shovel snow off the el-
derly neighbors' sidewalks so they don't have
to. Her younger siblings are learning from her
examples.

"All of our children are
caring and cannot do
enough for others."

— Richard May

Mrs. May is a psychologist and Mr. May
teaches students with developmental dis-
abilities.
"Rick has always done something extra,"
his wife said. "He has a knack of finding some-
thing wonderful about everyone. He has enor-
mous patience and spends a good deal of time
reading with Tana" (who is dyslexic and takes

great pride in her reading progress).
Both Mr. and Mrs. May go out of their way
for their students and clients. She is involved
with a group formed for women in abusive re-
lationships and he volunteers with the Spe-
cial Olympics.
"Joyce personifies the image of the giving
Jewish mother," Mr. May said. "She is always
there for friends, family members and clients."
A late-night phone call or knock on the door
from someone in crisis is not unusual.
When Kenny and Scott were children, they
became accustomed to their parents' opening
up their home to friends needing a temporary
place to stay.
One morning, while on their way down-
stairs to watch television, the boys walked
over someone asleep on the floor. They nev-
er even questioned the man's presence.
"Rick and Joyce are phenomenal parents
with extraordinary values," said Rabbi Arnie
Sleutelberg of Congregation Shir Tikvah,
where the Mays are members. "They teach
by example and are realistic about limita-
tions.
"The kids exhibit traits of their parents.
They go out of their way to treat me and every-
one else with kindness. Each has been in-
volved with tzedakah and are pillars of their
classes." ❑

PH OTOS BY GLENN TRI EST

m

ay 17 was Gotcha Day.
Although unknown to
most, the holiday is an im-
portant and exciting day
for two young Southfield
residents.
Initiated four years ago, Gotcha Day marks
the date Amanda, 12, and Tana, 9, were adopt-
ed by their parents Richard and Joyce May.
Younger brother Andrew's Gotcha Day is Dec.
11.
The Mays are an ordinary family in extra-
ordinary circumstances.
In his or her own way, each family member
exemplifies generosity, compassion and tikkun
olam, repairing the world.
Together, Mr. and Mrs. May have adopted
five children. When their oldest sons Kenneth,
27, and Scott, 26, grew up, the couple felt
young enough to continue building a family.
They added a 4-, 5- and 8-year-old.
"Kenny and Scott gave us a great deal of
pleasure and we thought we would do it
again," Mr. May said.
"We just decided, what gives you more pur-
pose and direction than children?" Mrs. May
said.
The four years since Mr. and The May
family
Mrs. May adopted their daughters
and the two years since Andrew's personifies
tikkun olam.
adoption have gone by quickly.
"When a new child comes into
your home, it takes a good year for
everyone in the family to find his
natural place. It's a big change. It
takes a year for things to stop feel-
ing new and different," Mr. May
said.
Today, Amanda works with
autistic children at Berkshire Mid-
dle School. Her principal describes
her as someone who genuinely
cares for others and goes out of her
way to make the children she
works with feel accepted. Aman-
da, though, says she's just an or-
dinary girl who loves rock music.
Her favorite groups are Nirvana
and Green Day.
Amanda began volunteering
after meeting a friend's brother
who was autistic. She spends her
lunch hour with autistic children
at her school because "it's fun and

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