Local Family Adopts Five Siblings and Named TCDSS Adoptive Parents of the Year

A dream came true for this year’s 2017 Adoptive Parents of the Year for Talbot County. Jeff and Jeanne Scharf, resource (foster) parents for the Talbot County Department of Social Services (TCDSS), when they recently adopted a group of five siblings on the Mid Shore between ages 5 through 14. The Scharfs initially became resource parents in 1998 with another agency and foster parents in 2013 with the Talbot County Department of Social Services. They were selected as Talbot County’s Resource Parents of the Year in 2016.  This year’s accolades reflect the hard work and dedication of the family in the adoption process which has brought their number of family members to an even dozen.

While the Scharf’s had four biological children of their own and one adopted son, they felt the tug to do more. Jeanne Scharf, who had been in challenging family situations as a child, recalls, “God allowed me to go through the trials in my own life when I was a child to prepare me for caring for children in situations like foster care.  We got the call about this sibling group of five children and said we would take them all.”

The Scharf extended family. Pictured back row, L-R are Shane Scharf, Clara Thornton, Sami Scharf, Jeanne Scharf, Jack Haley, and Jeff Scharf. Pictured front row, L-R, are Dandy Scharf, Daisy Scharf, Orlando Scharf, Santos Scharf, Leslie Scharf, and Karen Haley.

She adds, “When I see children in these situations, I remember what I said as a child, ‘Who will love me?’ I wanted to break that cycle in my own family and raise my children differently.”

The couple, who were school sweethearts before they married, attribute their faith, supportive church community, and extended family and friends to helping them keep things going. Jeanne quips, “God never has given me more than I can handle.”

The Scharfs felt it was important to keep the five children together. Their sibling bonds were even stronger because they had survived something together. Jeanne recalls the process of figuring out how to meet each child’s needs. She recalls, “We had to take a step back and reassess everything to give each child the tools that he or she needed to be successful. They began to trust us because they had security and consistency in their lives.”

Because of the language barrier, Jeanne and Jeff started with sign language with the youngest of the siblings. Jeanne had taken a Spanish class just before they arrived and was able to piece the language together from what she had learned, along with using Google Translate. In addition, there were cultural differences that needed to be addressed. Jeanne adds, “Having foster children before helped us to be more understanding of the children and more patient. We grow every day having them with us.”

Christine Abbatiello, LCSW-C, Foster Care and Adoptions Supervisor at the Talbot County Department of Social Services comments, “We were so honored to nominate the Scharf family for Adoption Family of the Year. They are so deserving of this award as they have dedicated the past several years to these five children. They encompass all that we would ask for in a foster and adoptive family. They are nurturing and advocate for each individual child.”

The Scharfs have enjoyed the support of families, friends, and their church in providing for the children. Jeanne states, “They came in with just the clothes on their backs, but God provided for them”.  She thanks Talbot County Department of Social Services, St. Martin’s Barn, The Good Shed, and everyone in the community who pulled together to help. “We only had a five-passenger car and a church member sold us a 15-passenger van for a reasonable price. It was an overwhelming blessing.”

The family stays busy with the children participating in 4-H, dance, band and student council. The Scharfs’ youngest biological daughter, who is in her freshman year of high school, is very bonded with the children and helps Jeanne with the tutoring. Jeanne quips, “It’s a very busy life!”

Jeanne says that while she keeps the children straight, her husband Jeff entertains them and is their biggest cheerleader, always saying to them, “You can DOOO it!”  Jeff adds, “When you take children in, there are so many obstacles you can face; but, one day you wake up and you’re just family! When you look back on life, you find when you lead with your heart, it’s all worth it!”

For further information about becoming a resource (foster) or adoptive parent, contact the Talbot County Department of Social Services at 410-820-7371. An Information Session is being offered on Tuesday, December 5, 2017 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Department of Social Services at 301 Bay Street in Easton, MD.

Talbot Historical Society Project Rewind: Taking Lunch at Mount Pleasant Elementary School



The Talbot Historical Society Past Perfect Museum database information states this Laird Wise Collection photo was taken c. 1959 at the Mount Pleasant Elementary School cafeteria! Can you help us confirm the location and identify any of the students? Contact: Cathy Hill cvhill@atlanticbb.net to share your old photos. Comment, Like our page and join THS!

Road Closure in line with Thanksgiving Parade of Classics

The Saint Michaels Police Department is reminding Talbot County residents and visitors that Talbot Street will be closed for one hour this Saturday morning, Nov. 18. The closure of the town’s main thoroughfare will accommodate the annual Thanksgiving Parade of Classics sponsored by the Classic Motor Museum. The procession of 50 classic cars and trucks rolls through town between 10:30AM and 11:30AM. The police department is urging town residents and those living in outlying areas to plan their day accordingly.

The Parade of Classics has become a popular family favorite over the past few years. It begins at Perry Cabin Park and ends on the grounds of the Classic Motor Museum of St. Michaels on East Marengo St. This year, the museum will be hosting a grand opening celebration. Everyone is invited to tour the museum’s collection and enjoy lunch and entertainment. Admission, including lunch, is $15. More information is available on the museum’s website, classicmotormuseum.org.

Easton Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast Draws Crowd

Pictured L-R are Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast speaker Lenox Trams, an Easton Police Officer; Easton’s Mayor Robert C. Willey, and speaker Alfred B. “Tim” Kagan, Jr. of Easton, realtor and civic leader.

Easton’s 35th Annual Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast drew a crowd of 200 people to the Tidewater Inn’s Gold Room in Easton. The breakfast featured speakers Alfred B. “Tim” Kagan, Jr. of Easton, realtor and civic leader, and Lenox Trams, an Easton Police Officer. Special music was provided by singer Cynthia Cooper Smothers and pianist Isaiah Embert. Scripture readings were done by June Billman of St. Mark’s UMC and Pastor Debbi Short of Tri Life Christian Center.

Spy Minute: Waterfowl Festival 2017

Launched in 1971, Easton’s Waterfowl Festival is a real community gathering.

The Spy started at one end of Harrison Street for what was described as “the world’s best cream of crab soup” that seemed to be enjoyed on a cold afternoon by one and all.

A new outdoor exhibit was set up right in front of us by Nanny Trippe.

Dogs, people and art of all kinds were in evidence for several blocks and after crab cakes at Christ Church, our group was drawn to the band outside the Academy Art Museum.

The festivities are fun for people and pets of all ages and the Festival runs today and tomorrow throughout Easton.

This video is approximately one minute in length.

Talbot Historical Society Project Rewind: Catching the Colors on Aurora Street

Enjoy this Talbot Historical Society Collection Postcard of early 1900’s Aurora Street, Easton, Maryland! In 1790 John Needles III surveyed Easton and one of the original stones can be found embedded in the sidewalk at the northwest corner of Dover and Aurora Streets ! By 1807 Easton contained 1,000 people and 200 houses and Aurora Street was one of the five main streets! Facts: “ Pot Pie to Hell & Damnation An Illustrated Gazetteer of Talbot County” by Dr. Laurence G. Claggett 2004.

Contact: Cathy Hill cvhill@atlanticbb.net to share your old photos. Comment, Like our page and join THS!

Scrolls for Troops Event Set for November 11 at Applebee’s

Just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday, local Easton resident George Jackson is holding a Scrolls for Troops event to obtain messages of thanks for deployed members of the military. George takes huge rolls of paper to local events and businesses to have community members sign their name and leave a message for those who cannot join their families during the holiday season. He then send them overseas, one scroll to each branch of the military, so they can feel the warmth and gratitude shared by the Easton community.

George has been doing this for several years, and has found that his scrolls do indeed have an impact on those who are overseas. He will be at the Easton Commons Applebee’s on 11/11 this year, in advance of Thanksgiving and we’d really appreciate any help you can get sharing this event so we can get as many signatures as possible for these scrolls. No purchase is necessary, we just are asking for folks to come out, sign the scrolls, and help send warm wishes and appreciation to our deployed troops.


Spy Intern Project: It Shore Was Fun at the OysterFest!

This year’s OysterFest connected the entire community to what living on the shore is all about. Vendors, musicians, artists, and skilled craftsmen joined together for seven hours of enjoyment and education about life as watermen. Guests attended features such as an oyster stew competition, boat rides, cooking demonstrations, various children’s’ activities and much more. Watermen served fresh oysters from our own backyard waters for guests to slurp at the Oyster Slurp Off.

If you happened to miss this year’s OysterFest, don’t worry. There’s always next year!

For more information about the OysterFest, please click here.

Tori Pack is the Talbot Spy intern for 2017-18. A graduate of Easton High School, Tori has spent the last year as a mentor in the non-profit organization, Talbot Mentors. Tori’s interest in writing and film have ushered in a young voice for the Talbot Spy that still has much to say.

Talbot Historical Society Project Rewind: Catching the Halloween Parade in Easton

Happy Halloween from the Talbot Historical Society! Enjoy this Easton, Maryland Washington Street Halloween Parade E. B. Blades & Co. float c. 1940’s! The little guy in the top hat is too cute!Guessing the woman with the beak must be Mother Hen?

Contact: Cathy Hill cvhill@atlanticbb.net to share your old photos. Comment, Like our page and join THS!

Messick’s Long Walk Home Turns Into Annual Adventure Day

On November 18th at the Oxford Community Center, local adventure-seekers can experience on a small scale the journey that local attorney Robert Messick embarked on this year to benefit Talbot Interfaith Shelter (TIS).  Messick left in April to hike all 2,190 miles of the Appalachian Trail in an effort to raise money to support the shelter’s mission of preventing homelessness in Talbot County.   He has already surpassed $23,000 toward his $35,000 goal.

To honor his incredible effort and ensure that its impact continues now that his mission is completed, TIS has parlayed the Long Walk Home into an annual Family Fun Walk and Adventure Day.

Kids of all ages will join in a nature walk with stops along the path commemorating events that happened to Messick on the Appalachian Trail.  Once they arrive back at the Community Center, there will be several adventure activities – including a compass scavenger hunt – along with demonstrations, crafts, food and drink.

The nature walk and activities will be from 11 am to 3 pm, followed by a presentation by Mr. Messick about his Appalachian Trail journey.  While the walk and activities are geared towards families with children, Robert’s presentation is appropriate for all ages.  Admission to both is free, but donations to Talbot Interfaith Shelter are encouraged.  Suggested donation amounts are $10 per person or $20 per family.  If you are interested in sponsoring or volunteering for the event, contact TIS’ Marketing and Communications Director, Jayme Dingler, at tis.jayme@gmail.com or 443-786-4676.

The Talbot Interfaith Shelter is a voluntary interfaith-based service organization in Talbot County, Maryland. We are dedicated both to providing safe, temporary shelter to men, women, and children who lack adequate housing, and to raising awareness of the issues of homelessness in our community.  Their vision is that no one in Talbot County will ever have to spend a night on the streets, in a car or in the woods because he or she cannot find housing.