Nov. 20 is our mass adoption ceremony, which always draws a lot of attention. But even before that, you will see our presence in the community.
Throughout the month, we will supply a few local coffee shops with coffee sleeves that depict some of our children awaiting adoption, along with our HCKids logo and website information. We hope the sleeves will draw people to our website, www.hckids.org, where they can see pictures, video and biographies of our waiting children.
This is our second year doing the sleeves. It is a great way to raise awareness throughout the month. If you, or someone you know, own a coffee shop or other type of business that goes through large volumes of coffee, we would be happy to supply you with coffee sleeves. Just reach out.
The sleeves will be a daily reminder of the work we do here and the 200 children who are waiting for parents to step up and change their lives. The mass adoption ceremony will be a big event that shows people the power of adoption.
We have 17 children being adopted into eight families this year. The children range in age from 1 to 11. This ceremony, as it is every year, will be packed with emotion. I look forward to this day every year because it really is a day when we get to put the heartbreak of abuse and neglect aside and celebrate the power of love.
Here is a little on the families:
- A 3-year-old boy who received a heart transplant at 20 months will be adopted by his foster family, who live on a farm.
- A 6-year-old boy who entered foster care at birth will be adopted by the foster family that first cared for him and remained in his life through a failed reunification with his biological father.
- A 6-year-old girl and her 4-year-old brother will be adopted by the family that has fostered her since she was 1 and him since he was born.
- A sibling set of six – yes six! – will be adopted by their foster parents. These parents had never fostered or adopted before when the six were placed in their care. They insisted on keeping the children, ages 10 months to 9 years, together in one family.
- A sibling set of four – ages 5 to 11 – will be adopted by the family that has fostered them for five years.
- A 3-year-old boy will be adopted by his maternal aunt. She was also adopted as a child!
- A 1-year-old boy will be adopted by the foster family that has cared for him since birth.
- A 10-year-old boy is being adopted by a family with a ton of older brothers to keep him busy.
These families are generous enough to open up their adoption finalizations, which are normally private affairs, to the public. We usually have most of the media outlets in town there, and we plan on livestreaming the event. Check back to either of our websites, www.hcjfs.org and www.hckids.org, later this month for details on how you can watch live.
In past ceremonies, we have seen both parents and children moved to tears over the joy of becoming a family. For some of our teenagers, they have spent many years in the system and cycled through a few foster homes. The idea that someone loves them enough to give them a permanent home is sometimes very overwhelming.
Their happiness often brings those in the courtroom gallery to tears, too.
Finalizing an adoption is always the culmination of a tremendous amount of work by our staff. Pairing a child with specific needs with a family that can meet those needs is difficult. This ceremony is not just our way of celebrating these families, but our way of celebrating the 100 or so adoptions we do each year.
I hope you will watch on Nov. 20. And if you are considering foster care or adoption, maybe this could be the event that pushes you to action?
Next November, we will do this again. There is plenty of time for you to unite with one or more of our children and become a featured family!