Philip DuBois and his wife Tammy spent nine years trying to adopt a child, a long road that started in Aroostook County, continued when they moved to Oxford for his work, and ended last year when they met a boy named Jamie.

He moved in last January, 2006.

“Phil talked about it as a Christmas present in the New Year,” said Sarah Glynn, a friend and Kiwanis Club member with Philip. Jamie’s adoption became official last fall.

The DuBoises vowed as a family to do something special each month, she said. Paint his room, go somewhere.

The April trip to North Carolina was their first family vacation; it was probably that something special.

It ended tragically Thursday night when Tammy, 42, was killed in a car accident that also killed the van’s driver and sent Philip, Jamie and others to the hospital with severe injuries.

The driver of the car that struck them head-on, a woman with a suspended license, allegedly speeding, broke an ankle.

A nursing supervisor at Frye Regional Medical Center in Hickory, N.C., said Saturday evening that 13-year-old Jamie was still in the critical care unit, but in stable condition.

Philip, 41, was in good condition at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, according to a nurse there.

Two other passengers were listed in fair condition, one other in critical condition. The DuBoises were traveling with extended family members at the time of the accident.

“It took everything out of me when I heard. I felt so sad for Jamie,” said Dr. Tere Porter, a Norway optometrist.

Tammy DuBois worked for him for three years, making appointments and handling insurance claims. She left five weeks ago so she could be a stay-at-home mom to her only child.

“I’m so sad she’s gone,” Porter said. “I know she’s in a better place. I know it’s going to be tough for Phil, but Tammy’s spirit will be with them.”

At the Oxford Advent Christian Church, members held a special prayer service Friday night for the family.

Judy Jewett of Oxford, whose husband, Frank, is lead pastor, said Tammy loved cats and was shy in contrast to her outgoing husband.

Philip is the administrator at Market Square Health Care Center in Paris. The couple moved down from Aroostook County five or six years ago so he could take that job. He joined the Norway-Paris Kiwanis just before Glynn did in 2002.

The resemblance between Philip and Jamie is striking, she said. Encouraged by his own experience, Philip spearheaded a Kiwanis effort last year to pepper the area with posters in a campaign called A Family For ME. The program places foster children with prospective families.

Out of that, “They placed 14 children in adoptive homes,” Glynn said. “Phil is an amazing man, and Tammy of course is right there with him.”

Although they’d only been together 16 months, she said the new family had bonded. They recently built a new home at 64 Rabbit Valley Road.

This last Christmas, Glynn took Jamie shopping for gifts for his parents, so it could be a surprise.

“He made a list, and he thought about what they enjoyed and what they liked,” Glynn said. She called Jamie an outgoing teenager, active in church.

Jewett said she thought part of the reason behind the trip to North Carolina was to introduce Jamie to extended family, “to help him connect, that was a goal for them. Give him roots.”

Her husband, Frank, who’s out of the country this week, has spoken to Philip twice by phone in the hospital. According to friends, he suffered a broken left leg, hip, ribs, toes and right hand.

Jamie suffered a serious leg injury and internal injuries.

Philip was upset Jamie was in a different hospital, Jewett said. “He’s had a lot of upheaval in his years. Phil says, ‘I want to be there for him.’ “

An aunt drove down from Bangor on Saturday to be at Jamie’s side and keep Philip updated, she said.

“What he told my husband was, ‘For nine years, we’ve been trying to adopt a child. Who would have ever thought I’d end up a single parent?’ “


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