Hello there- it seems it has been quite some time since I've posted. Truth be told I am writing quite a bit, but working on a book which seems to have taken priority over blogging lately.
But this month is MAY which is Foster Care Awareness month. Since we have recently finalized an adoption of a child through the state foster care system, this issue is near and dear to me.
SO, I'm getting back into writing to highlight foster and adoptive care right here in CT. I just went to an art event at Higher Grounds Coffee in East Hampton (Higher Grounds Facebook Page) put on by "Hearts, Hands and Homes", a community collaborative promoting foster and adoption programs in CT. The artwork displayed was made by foster/adopted children and parents and shows a spectrum of feelings related to foster and adoption- from loss and grief to hope and the simple joy of a loving and safe family.
The artwork will remain on display at Higher Grounds Coffee for the next couple of weeks, and I strongly encourage you to check it out if you are in the area! There is no better way to begin understanding the foster care system than to see bits and pieces of the stories of children and caregivers who have gone through it.
Perhaps you have never considered fostering or adopting and my goal is not to guilt anyone who is not drawn to the issue. However, if you are someone who has even just toyed with the idea of fostering or adopting before, the need is certainly great. At the event tonight a DCF coordinator said that there are roughly 4,000 foster children in CT alone. Any parent who would be willing to foster a child even for a brief time can make a huge impact in a child's life. Additionally, the need for pre-adoptive foster parents is becoming greater- as I write this there are a meager 65 licensed pre-adoptive homes in the ENTIRE state of CT. While there is a need for all ages, for adoption there currently seems to be a special need for parent open to infants and teenagers.
If you have any questions or thoughts about fostering/adopting, I encourage you to talk with friends who have fostered or adopted before- every situation is so different, but I'm happy to talk to anyone about our particular experience and know many others willing to share their stories as well. Or if you'd rather just do some further personal research about foster/adoption, check out these websites:
Hearts, Hands and Homes: Community Collaborative for Foster Care and Adoption
CT Adoption/Foster Care
CT Heart Gallery: Children Currently Legally Free for Adoption (These are children who have been waiting for a home, but do not represent the full scope of children in the foster care system who are or will become available for adoption)
CT Association of Foster and Adoptive Parents
Contact for Waterford Country School (Our adoption agency was technically a branch of Waterford Country School)
Adopt US Kids: A National Foster/Adoptive Website