By Guest Blogger Alicia Bowles with Children’s Home Society of NC
Boys Adopted on the “Happiest Day of Our Lives”
“You are here. You are not going anywhere. You belong. You are a member of our family, forever. This is what we tell Adrian and Martin daily,” says Wendy Cardenas. After providing Adrian, 5, and Martin, 7, with a loving and nurturing foster family, Wendy and husband Patrick became a forever family to the boys on August 20.
Wendy comes with a family history of fostering to adopt. Her grandparents were foster parents for 35 years, and adopted one of the children they fostered.
“It comes with its challenges, but it is well worth it. The boys are doing great, and we know they will continue to. We are extremely blessed. They have brought so much joy to our lives,” Wendy says.
“The very best decision we ever made was to call CHS. CHS spends so much time making sure they find just the right family for the child,” Wendy continues.
Children’s Home Society (CHS) has been finding just the right family for the child since 1902, and has done so for more than 15,000 children over its history. CHS is North Carolina’s leading adoption agency completing four times more adoptions than any other private agency in the state – over 150 adoptions last year.
Each year, November is recognized as National Adoption Awareness Month. While all adoption-related issues are important, the particular focus of this month is the adoption of children living in foster care. In North Carolina, more than 10,000 children are part of the foster care system, including more than 2,000 children available and awaiting permanent adoptive families.
These children are in need of a family to love, nurture, and protect them. They come from a variety of backgrounds. Some have special needs, some are part of a sibling group, and many are older children or teenagers. Often the public is unaware of these children and the realities of adoption. National Adoption Awareness Month provides organizations, including Children’s Home Society, with a wonderful opportunity to raise awareness.
CHS has several initiatives occurring throughout November to help raise adoption awareness throughout the community. The CHS website contains a wealth of information to help families decide if adoption or foster care is right for them. Anyone interested in finding out more about adoption or foster care is invited to attend one of the CHS information meetings across the state. In November these free, no obligation meetings will be held in Asheville, Charlotte, Fayetteville, Greensboro, Greenville, Morganton, and Wilmington. To learn more, contact CHS at 1-800-632-1400 or visit our website, www.chsnc.org and click on “Events.”
The website also offers information about the Hope for the Holidays toy drive, which is a time that CHS provides gifts for children in their licensed foster homes. You can also find information on other programs—such as advice for birth parents considering adoption, information on upcoming parenting classes, and much more, including an online searchable database of children waiting to meet their permanent families.
About National Adoption Awareness Month
The first major effort to promote awareness of the need for adoptive families for children in foster care occurred in Massachusetts in 1976, when then-Governor Michael Dukakis announced an Adoption Week. The idea grew in popularity and spread nationwide. In 1984, President Reagan proclaimed the first National Adoption Week, and in 1995, under President Clinton, the week was expanded to the entire month of November due to the number of states participating and the number of events.
Every November, a Presidential Proclamation launches activities and celebrations to help build awareness of adoption throughout the nation. Thousands of community organizations arrange and host programs, events, and activities to share positive adoption stories, challenge the myths, and draw attention to the tens of thousands of children in foster care who wait and hope for permanent families. National Adoption Day is November 21 which is observed in courthouses across the nation as thousands of adoptions are finalized simultaneously.
*Sponsored by Children’s Home Society