Adopting a brighter future

Creating new lives for four deserving kids

A wise person once wrote, “Give a little love to a child, and you get a great deal back.” No one embodies this sentiment more than Trevor and Jennifer Barkman, who’ve embarked on a journey of love with four young children.

Since 2009 the Barkmans have lovingly adopted four high-risk babies, all of whom have developmental and health issues. BC Children’s Hospital is a steady partner in the care of all four boys, helping the Barkmans build brighter futures for these children.

Jonathan, the first child they adopted in 2009, was born HIV positive and with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD). Two years later the family welcomed Matthew, who had a deletion of the X chromosome that resulted in poor vision and hearing, and was unable to walk or crawl.

Barkman family
From left to right: David, Isaac, Trevor, Matthew, Jennifer, and Jonathan

In 2014 the Barkmans adopted Jonathan’s half-brother David, who was also born HIV positive and had FASD and learning disabilities. Isaac, Matthew’s half-brother, joined the family in 2018, bringing with him a chromosome deletion that resulted in hearing, vision and mobility issues.

Throughout this roller-coaster journey, Jennifer and Trevor received steadfast support from their families, as well as doctors, nurses and specialists from BC Children’s Hospital.

Matthew alone has visited BC Children’s almost 100 times for tests and surgeries, during which he received extensive treatments that improved his quality of life. “We like to joke that Matthew has a specialist from his toenails to his hair,” said Trevor, “and everything in-between.”

Trevor’s parents, Ken and Betty Barkman, are so inspired by the incredible care their adopted grandsons received that they became regular monthly donors to support BC Children’s Hospital.

With help from experts at BC Children’s, Jennifer and Trevor have created new, hope-filled lives for their boys. “We see only a part of what they have to deal with on a daily basis,” said Ken and Betty, “but we know that they have dedicated their lives to making sure Jonathan, Matthew, David and Isaac have the best care that they can give them.”


This article was originally featured in the Fall 2021 issue of Shine magazine.

Shine Fall 2021 | Download the PDF

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