Our A Taste of Home Event

Our A Taste of Home Event

By
A Family For Every Child’s summer event A Taste of Home was this past Saturday at Sweet Cheeks Winery.  It was a beautiful evening full of good food, excellent music and spectacular views.  Once again, AFFEC was blessed by our community of supporters and we were reminded that this job could not be done without every single one of you.  The support each person brings whether through volunteer hours, financial support, positive feedback or encouragement, is invaluable.  We are an agency formed with the mission to help every foster child and equipped with the hands of all who care to offer support. We couldn’t do it without you! We received a thank you email from one of our adoption families, and I was going to paraphrase the note, but now feel its best left in their own words. As I watch my children, I am often reminded of the story

From Mom to Not in Seven Minutes: Inside Family Court

By
City Limits spent months observing Family Court and found an overburdened system where delays were endemic, legal help was scarce and the approach to solving family problems was divided. This is the first chapter in our report.   The lives of the city’s most vulnerable citizens—tens of thousands of its neediest children—are irrevocably shaped by the decisions handed down in Family Court, yet the children themselves are rarely present. A woman in a white puffy coat and her lawyer sit at a blond-wood conference table on the left side of the courtroom. On the right, a lawyer for the city and a caseworker from the city’s child protective agency fill a twin conference table. A lawyer for the child who is the focus of the hearing sits at a small side table, barricaded by stacks of folders and binders. The judge sits at the center of a low, wood-paneled dais.

Good…But Not Good Enough

By
“You’re good, just not good enough.” This is the message that a foster family in Polk County received from the Department of Human Services.  The words were not spoken literally, but the message was received loud and clear. The Smith family was thrilled when beautiful, six month old Lisa was placed in their home five months ago.  Lisa had been abandoned by her mother and her father had relinquished his rights.  She had no relatives to care for her, and at the time she was placed with the Smiths she had not bonded with any parental figure.  Tom and Joni Smith began to pour their heart into this baby, and after five months they were notified that Lisa was going to be open for adoption.  They were thrilled at the prospect of making Lisa a permanent member of their family.  Lisa was responding beautifully to the family, and the loving

Coming Home

By
I love to go on vacation.  Who doesn’t love a good break from the routine and stress of daily life?  We are probably all in need of a good rest.  Life is busy and hard. Even getting away for a weekend can provide refreshment to the body, mind and spirit.  A change of scenery can do wonders to offer a change in perspective.  But, there is something great about returning home.    It’s wonderful to get away, but nothing beats sleeping in your own bed.  In fact, getting away for a short trip can help you appreciate home even more.  The convenience of your own personal belongings at your fingertips, your entire wardrobe available for use at any time, the familiar sounds of your home as it settles in for the night; all the things that make a house a home. I can also remember the feeling I had returning home

Gotta Sink Before I Float

By
It is the summer before my freshman year of high school and my friends and I are swimming at my neighbor Joey’s house.  We swim in his Nana’s pool almost every day of the long California summer as the water provides our only relief from the heat.  I am balanced on the end of the diving board, and am watching the water below for my opening.  As my feet leave the board I have no time to prepare for the shock of the cold water below.  The noise of the kids splashing in the shallow end, and the squawking of the parrot from next door immediately disappears as my body plunges into the blue abyss.   The warmth from the sun and the heat on my skin are snatched from my body by the cool water.  The sound beneath the water is not entirely silent as my ears begin to hum

Siblings Reunited

By
I never read magazines.  I scan magazines when I am waiting in line at the grocery store.  If a cover grabs my attention or a title looks interesting I will flip through the pages and skim the article.  It’s a dangerous way to obtain information since I never have the time to gather all the facts.  After the groceries are bagged and I am headed home only a small amount of the story remains in my brain.  I do not recommend this way of staying informed.  However, in a world of constant distraction; car pools, sporting events, homework, work, house chores, laundry, dishes, yard work etc. this is all the time I have for recreational reading. Last Saturday was an exception.  My daughter was turning 13, and I had taken her to the salon to get her hair done.  As I waited for the beautician to finish her masterpiece I

Change

By
“If you don’t like something, change it.  If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” Maya Angelou  (April 4, 1928 – May 28, 2014) Change is a natural part of life.  We experience it constantly.  There are many situations which we have the power to induce change.  We change our clothes, our speech, our behavior.  We change the sheets on the bed and change a tire when it’s flat.  We make change when we purchase a snack from the vending machine and we generously tell the cab driver to keep the change.  As a woman myself, and on behalf of all women, we have the prerogative to change our minds.  We just do. The seasons change with the passing of time and friends change with age and maturity.  We change seats, change planes, change the baby, change direction.  We do these things with ease and with little thought sometimes.  Yet,

I Choose You

By
Sara Bareilles has a new song entitled “I Choose You”.  The song is clearly a love song, but is it only appropriate for lovers?  Isn’t it also appropriate for the beautiful choice of adoption?  Adoption is an act of love freely given to another.  It is the choice to willingly open one’s heart to risk.  It can be scary, hard, painful, but isn’t this the case with all love?   I have posted the lyrics, but I encourage you to scroll down and click the YouTube link to listen to the song. “I Choose You” Let the bough break, let it come down crashing Let the sun fade out to a dark sky I can’t say I’d even notice it was absent Cause I could live by the light in your eyes I’ll unfold before you What I’ve strung together The very first words Of a lifelong love letter Tell the

Birds of a Feather…

By
The traffic was moving steady for early afternoon until the car begins to slow in front of me.  I tap my brakes and bring my Honda to a slower pace.  I cannot tell what is causing the sudden traffic jam, but I figure there must be a Highway patrol officer on the road or an accident.  I scan the shoulder of the highway searching for the culprit.  It is then that I notice a car stopped on the side of the road and the female driver standing next to it.  She is crouched over and staring at something on the ground.  I immediately fear the worst and send out a prayer for someone who may be hurt and in need of help.   As I get closer I see the object of the woman’s attention, thankfully it is not an injured party.  The Good Samaritan is attempting to herd a goose

We Had Love to Offer, Why Not Help a Child?

By
We all have the capacity to love. Not just the capacity, but the need to love and to be loved. It is at the heart of what it means to be human. The heart of humanity is designed for love. It cannot function properly without it. Yet, to love at all is risky. When we offer our hearts to something or someone, we also accept the inevitability of loss. There is no greater pain in life than a broken heart. To open our hearts to anything is to open ourselves to the possibility of pain. The only way to properly avoid pain is to protect the heart from the dangers of love. But can we afford that option? To refuse to love is to sentence the heart to an early grave. Protection from pain takes a huge toll on the heart. Bitterness sets in and the heart becomes a stone