finding permanent families for every waiting foster child

A Regal Announcement to all Princesses

Dear, Princesses:

Please consider attending A Family For Every Child’s Annual Event…

 

PRINCESS FOR A DAY

10am – 5pm Sunday, April 9, 2017
at the Valley River Inn,
Eugene, Oregon

Cost: Foster children are admitted free for this event. $50.00 for non-foster children –includes the event for the princess and the tea-party for them and their (one) guest (parent, foster parent, or guardian).

This will be a fun-filled day of yummy treats, tea parties, nail painting, face painting, dress-up, and more!

 

 

Guardians: Please register your princess here.

Volunteers: We have all kinds of volunteer opportunities, whether painting the name of our highness or taking pictures of the children in their royal gowns, we have a volunteer job for you. Please either fill out our Volunteer Form or email: events@afamilyforeverychild.org

*For more information on sponsoring a princess, donating, etc., please visit our website at this link.

 

Please take a moment to enjoy last year’s event!

Happy New Year from AFFEC: A Sneak Peak of an Upcoming Event…

Happy New Year from A Family For Every Child!

 

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In honor of the new year, please take a moment to review our upcoming event!

 

A Princess For a Day

10am – 5pm Sunday, March 26, 2017

at the Valley River Inn,
Eugene, Oregon

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This is a ROYAL gathering for all the royal children in the land. This event is to celebrate the REGAL children both in foster care and not by giving them the royal treatment. This royal treatment includes being pampered, adorned in a new outfit fit for royalty, and a fancy tea party.
Here is a sneak peak of what to expect at the event:

  • The princesses get to dress up in a gown and select their slippers and crown as accessories.
  • They get their hair, nails, and make up done by the Royal Hair & Make-Up Team
  • They get to have their picture taken in their royal attire.
  • They get to attend a Royal Tea Party with their royal guest (a parent/guardian or foster parent)
  • They get to take their gown, slippers, and crown home with them!

Foster children are granted free admission. General admission for all other princesses is $50.00. Advanced registration is required for all children. All children are welcome. All attendees are welcome to be accompanied by their king or queen. Due to limited space we can only accommodate the princesses and one adult guest, so please leave all wicked step sisters and housecleaning mice at the castle.

 

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Thank you for taking the time to check out our blog. If you are interested in volunteering, please either fill out this form or email us at events@afamilyforeverychild.org. Stay tuned for more info regarding A Princess For a Day.

A Home For The Holidays

7th Annual
A Home For The Holidays

Thursday – November 10, 2016
5:30 – 9:30pm

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screen-shot-2016-10-30-at-4-18-54-pmNext Thursday, November 10th is our 7th annual holiday auction, and on behalf of A Family for Every Child, we would like to take this opportunity to invite you to partner with us to support this worthwhile event benefiting foster children in search of their forever families. The event will be held at the Valley River Inn, and consists of dinner, auction packages both large and small, our famous dessert dash, and a beautiful holiday celebration. Individual tickets are only $75.00 for a delicious meal and fine wine!

2016 is an important year in the life of our organization, as we are celebrating our 10th year serving foster children both locally and nationally. Over this past decade with your help, we have been able to place over 5,000 Children, 1,500 Sibling Groups, 1,600 Minority Children, and 400 Teenagers. Together we have accomplished so much and we are looking forward to the many exciting opportunities that the next 10 years will hold.

Along with dozens of dedicated event volunteers, we are asking you to support us by donating and/or attending our Annual Event. ‘A Home for the Holidays’ is responsible for a large portion of our operating budget for the year. These funds allow us to oversee the vital programs that we administer, such as Mentoring, Family Preservation, Family Finding, and Matching Assistance. With your help, we are making a positive and tangible impact on the lives of waiting foster children. We understand that you have many opportunities to support worthwhile programs in our community and appreciate your consideration.

Register and Get Your Tickets Here! Directions are available here.

Can’t make it, but still wish to bring cheer to a special child? You can! Click Here to Donate!

Lifebooks: Creating a Treasure for the Adopted Child

“Every child deserves to know where s/he came from” – Beth O’Malley

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Beth O’Malley’s life books were and are inspired to act as a “childhood memory,” or perhaps a baby book, for young adoptees.

At five months, O’Malley was adopted, but not after living in two foster homes. She grew up in western Massachusetts, Berkshire to be exact. As a child, O’Malley describes herself to be, “a happy little girl. But as I entered my teen years the questions started. I felt different. Soon many of my major life events would be related to [my] adoption issues.” She stresses, “I believe that my life would have been very different if I had my own adoption life book.”

When it comes to her professional career, she states:

screen-shot-2016-10-02-at-2-56-16-pmscreen-shot-2016-10-02-at-3-20-52-pm“In 1981, I received my Masters in Counseling from American University in Washington D.C. Soon after, I began working as a social worker in Boston’s inner city. In 1994 I was ready to start my life’s work as an adoption social worker.

Something deep inside of me ‘became alive’ when I began making adoption and foster lifebooks for children in foster care. I started to see the world through a child’s eyes and with different priorities. I also witnessed the tremendous healing that foster or adoption lifebooks brought to a child with many homes. It became one of the most meaningful things I did as an adoption worker, besides creating families.

Last but not least is the fact that my lifebook work led me to parenthood. Yes, that’s right. In October 2003, my husband and I adopted an 11-month-old baby girl named Polina. This experience has been life-altering and adoption lifebook changing.”

From what you can see, life books have multiple benefits, some including:

  • A concrete tool for meaningful conversation
  • An adoption security blanket
  • Attachment rituals
  • Structure for difficult material (such as reasons for the relinquishment)
  • Ways to normalize adoption language
  • Ways to reduce fantasy about birthparents
  • A front-load for adolescence
  • Opportunities to create positive identity and ethnic identity
  • Space for future events

To order a life book for your precious child(ren), visit http://shop.adoptionlifebooks.com

Volunteer Today!

Benito, Age 11

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Benito is a loving youth who smiles often. He can be very affectionate to his caregivers and loves to have physical contact or connections with others. He has a lot of energy and loves to go to the park. Benito also enjoys watching the movie Cars and loves playing with his Car toys. He is non-verbal and communicates through the use of signs. He receives speech therapy and is improving and learning new ways to communicate to others. At times, Benito’s mood will change suddenly. He also will throw temper tantrums if things don’t go the way he planned. Benito prefers to be and does best around few people. To read more about Benito, visit his profile.

Are you interested in making an impact on children such as Benito? We are always looking for dedicated and compassionate people to help us fulfill our Mission.  When you work with us you will not only expand your skills but also contribute to changing the lives of Foster Children all over the country. If you are interested in one or more roles please list them on the Volunteer Application so we can find the perfect fit for you! Keep in mind, there are over 60 opportunities available.

Click here to begin your application today!

Featured Family of the Week

Our Featured Family of the Week: The Hawking-Johnson Family

Judith Hawking and Kenneth Johnson live in the suburbs of New York and are ready to welcome a child(ren) into their home. Take the time to read about our featured family of the week!

“Hi! We are Judith Hawking and Kenneth Todd Johnson. I was born and raised in Canada and then moved to the States for school. Todd and I fell in love, so I am lucky enough to be a Dual American/Canadian citizen. My husband, Todd, was born in Savannah, Georgia. He grew up in South Carolina and we visit his terrific family there, and my family in Canada, as often as we can. We love to be active and live near two gorgeous parks. You can find us in one of those at least five times a week with our two dogs, Romulus and Remus, who love to get out and play! They are also therapy dogs who visit hospitals and libraries, and they are very, VERY smart and full of love. They know when to give you a thousand kisses and when to just let you have your own space.

My favourite hobby is to LEARN… about everything and anything, I also love fashion and travelling. Todd is great at building just about anything and a terrific teacher. Football, (G.B. Packers and Denver Broncos are his favourite) , and soccer are his first choice for sports…and is always up for a game! I am an actress and teach ESL, and Todd is a Union Waiter, so we both have a flexible work schedule. We have friends and family of many faiths. All are honoured and welcomed in our home. We believe that working hard is not only expected but, can be a lot of fun. And having fun is ALWAYS a good idea no matter how hard you are working. We usually gather in in the kitchen and living room cooking, reading, laughing, playing with our dogs, having friends and family over to visit, making our home beautiful, watching movies, taking care of our yard, and a lot more.

We are so looking forward to adopting a child, or sibling group of up to four kids, between the ages of 4 and 19. We are open to boys, or girls, or boys AND girls, and would consider any child with mild disabilities. We absolutely encourage contact with the child’s biological, or foster parents, provided it would be in the child’s best interest. Children who are bright, inquisitive and healthy. Strong personalities welcomed and, timid souls will be encouraged. Willing to learn, laugh, be adventurous, honest, hard working, with a positive attitude. We believe ALL of these can be taught and nurtured and, we are looking forward to learning, and loving many new things together!”

To read more on this lovely family, please visit their profile at:

http://www.afamilyforeverychild.org/php/GuestViewNarrative2.php?fid=3227&fidcheck=c35865bcca96633a153303597454e448#sthash.N2vKseGf.dpuf

Our Mission

I would like to take the moment to reflect upon our mission statement.

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As you are all aware, A Family for Every Child is dedicated to finding loving, permanent families for every waiting foster child, like Berry. With a sweet, dimpled smile and a mischievous, musical laugh that he readily shares with others, Berry’s about as charming a little guy as you’d ever hope to meet. A recent trip to Disney World made possible by the Make-A-Wish Foundation netted a personal introduction to another frequent topic of conversation, Mickey Mouse, though if Berry had to pick a favorite between the Disney mascot and Superman he’d have to call it a draw. If you are interested in adopting Berry, please visit his profile.

We started by Christy Obie-Barrett and dozens of dedicated and passionate volunteers. Our story is written as followed:

In 2006, AFFEC was formed and developed into an organization focused on finding permanent and loving adoptive homes for all waiting children. Our intention is to develop programs that assist special-needs/challenging-to-place foster children in finding their own Forever Families.

We started with our first sole project called The Heart Gallery in November, 2006, and now we have blossomed into ten incredibly successful programs. None of this could have occurred without the wonderful support from this community’s sources, including volunteers, sponsors, photographers, in-kind donors and many more.
Heart Gallery Mission

“The mission of Heart Gallery of America ® Inc. is to facilitate and utilize the power of photography to capture the individuality and dignity of children living in foster care, in order to advocate for their permanency, raise public awareness about their needs, and obtain support to help meet those needs. An integral part of honoring this mission is to provide assistance and resources to Heart Gallery chapters nationwide to help them achieve parallel goals for the waiting children they represent.”
Facts & Figures:
*430,000 children in foster care in the United States
*10,000 children in the State of Oregon
*1,000 children in foster care in Lane County

 

Considering Adoption? Sign up for our FREE MAP program

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A Family For Every Child’s Matching Assistance (MAP) Program is a free program designed to help waiting families become matched with waiting foster children. Our program is most beneficial to families who are seeking to adopt a foster child over the age of seven with special needs. We provide families with resources and assistance during their adoption journey through newsletters, how-to guides, various media recommendations, and more. We provide families with the tools to submit and advocate for themselves while offering support and assistance during the matching process.

These services include:

  • First-rate child search form to find potential matches
  • Ability to create a family biography with photos to share with searching social workers
  • Quickly submit your home study and family biography directly to a child’s social worker
  • Successful recruitment services to connect families with children’s social workers
  • Social worker contact information for certain states
  • A private online support group

If you are home study approved, register for MAP now. During the sign up process, families have the opportunity to create their own family profile to send to social workers. The family profile includes a brief biography with pictures and information about the family and what they can offer a foster child. The family biography allows the family to show off their personality and make a more personal connection with a social worker. Home studies tend to be very similar, but the family biography is a way for the family to show off how unique they are and make them stand out. The family biography is sent out with every home study submission a family makes through our site.

Click here to learn more and sign up for MAP

Want more? Sign up for our Additional Services Program. At just $50 a month, you will receive the following:

  • Your own personal Family Adoption Specialist
  • Two child searches a month
  • Weekly phone call/email check-ins
  • Follow up on children you submitted on through our website
  • Assistance finding caseworker contact information for offsite submissions
  • Knowledge of adoption process, selection, placement, etc.
  • Support and guidance, aside from your Adoption Worker

Please note: Families are required to sign up for three months to start, and a payment for all three months of service is due up front. After the initial three months, families switch to a month-to-month membership. If you are registered for our Matching Assistance Program and would like to be added to our Additional Services Program wait list, email us at matching@afamilyforeverychild.org

The Basics of Reactive Attachment Disorder

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Dealing with RAD (Reactive Attachment Disorder) as an adoptive parent is no easy task, and understanding it is just as difficult. The chart above says it all. RAD goes beyond any other severe disorder. So let me break it down for you; RAD may be described as followed:

– The inability to form a close bond, even over a long period of time;

– Difficulty in showing or receiving affection;

– Difficulty in making friends; and

– Often results in bitterness and/or rage towards caregiver(s).

So I wouldn’t say it is as much of an inability, but it is rather a struggle for these children to build a close bond with their caregivers. There is still hope, though. Nothing is impossible.

So what becomes of RAD? What causes it? I like to describe it as a “Disturbed Attachment Cycle.” When a child is in an abusive home, is not fed, is not nurtured, and is not shown affection or any attention, trust is not developed, and as a result RAD is developed.

A wide range of ages deal with RAD. Although it is most common among teenagers, infants can also be diagnosed with it. According to The Help Guide, the most common symptoms of infants and toddlers includes:

  • Avoids eye contact
  • Doesn’t smile
  • Doesn’t reach out to be picked up
  • Rejects your efforts to calm, soothe, and connect
  • Doesn’t seem to notice or care when you leave them alone
  • Cries inconsolably
  • Doesn’t coo or make sounds
  • Doesn’t follow you with his or her eyes
  • Isn’t interested in playing interactive games or playing with toys
  • Spend a lot of time rocking or comforting themselves

If you begin to see these signs in your foster/adopted child, please do not be afraid to reach out to a family therapist. And as The Help Guide states, “Try to remember that your adopted child isn’t acting out because of lack of love for you. Their experience hasn’t prepared them to bond with you, and they can’t yet recognize you as a source of love and comfort. Your efforts to love them will have an impact—it just may take some time.”

 

References:

The Help Guide

http://www.helpguide.org/articles/secure-attachment/attachment-issues-and-reactive-attachment-disorders.htm

Have a Little Taste of Home This Saturday, July 30th!

This Saturday, July 30th, 2016 from 6:00PM to 9:00PM is our fourth annual summer event, and A Family for Every Child is teaming up with your local Meriwether Winery and Texas Roadhouse!
Click here to RSVP

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We will be located at:

88324 Vineyard Lane, Veneta OR 97487 

 

Join us for a wonderful evening to celebrate summer and you! We would like to thank you for helping A Family For Every Child to carry out our mission: finding permanent families for every waiting foster child.

Tickets to this event are just $15.00 each! And, if you bring a friend new to the AFFEC family, their admission is free.

Don’t forget to pre-register, space is limited and filling up fast!

The evening will include:
A delicious barbeque provided by Texas Roadhouse
Wine & Beer
Music Provided by Bailee Jordyn
Various Raffle Items including a beautiful handmade quilt and a 50/50 raffle!

We are requesting that you please bring a donation for the silent auction or wine wall at our Home for the Holidays event on November 10th, 2016 valued at $25 or more.

Suggested donations:
Restaurant and/or Retail Gift Cards;
Spa Gift Cards;
Tickets to sporting events;
Sportsman/Outdoorsman items (Cabela’s, Golf, Fishing, and Hunting);
Oregon Duck Memorabilia;
Weekend Getaways; or
Buy a bottle of Meriwether Wine and donate it to the Wine Wall
Help us find a home for thousands of waiting foster children by joining us for this fun filled night!

 

 
Can’t make it out that night, but want to donate? Click here!