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11Mar

Businesses in Historic Old City Philadelphia Help Foster Children Looking to be Adopted

For years we have teamed up with KYW Newsradio to air a program called Wednesday’s Child, hosted by broadcast journalist Larry Kane. Larry, who has been a friend to NAC for more than 25 years, asks the children about themselves and why it is important to them to be adopted. These special interviews are featured on the radio every Wednesday, multiple times a day, with the goal of finding permanent loving homes for these children.

The children who now live in foster care, come to Philadelphia to be taped for the interview, many come from significant distances. NAC has been asking for donations from businesses in Old City Philadelphia, where KYW's studio is located, in an effort to make the day memorable for the children.

We met one of our most enthusiastic partners in this effort last month. Evan Sharps, owner of Old City T-Shirts , is a man who knows all about creating an experience to remember. When Evan heard about the different types of children we work with - the importance of finding them a family, and the joy it would bring to give them a day filled with fun memories, he was quick to hop on board.

Evan has graciously committed to offering every child involved in KYW Newsradio’s Wednesday’s Child program an opportunity to make a custom designed t-shirt in his souvenir shop. Evan’s charming shop is unlike any other. Customers get the chance to choose from a colorful selection of shirts, pick out their own design, and watch their t-shirt instantly come together.

We cannot thank business owners like Evan enough for helping us create a fun and exciting experience for the children who count on us to help find them families.

Spread the support and drop into Old City T-Shirts to see what the hype’s all about!

If you are interested in donating to the National Adoption Center’s Philly Fun Package, contact Beth at: bvogel@adopt.org 

8Mar

Foster Parenting: a Job or a Calling?

Foster parents would be considered public employees allowed to form, join and participate in unions under a bill introduced in Oregon. State Senator Chip Shields introduced a similar bill in 2009 that failed to make it out of committee. According to Shields, “The impetus is How do we help foster parents to be seen as a vital part of the social services safety net?”. More than 8,000 Oregon children are in foster care. This begs the question: Is foster parenting a job, or a calling? 

14Feb

A Love Letter To Our Supporters...

 

On this day, dedicated to love, we want to thank you!

  • Thank you to the families who open up their loving homes to children living in foster care 
  • Thank you to the children who keep faith and hope alive that they will find a family to call their own 
  • Thank you to our donors for your vital financial support so we may continue expanding adoption opportunities for the more than 104,000 children who need to be adopted 

Thanks to all of you who inspire us to continue our work of finding forever families for children who only desire to be loved.

Happy Valentines day!

8Feb

All Children - All Families

 
On Tuesday, February 5, NAC teamed up with the Human Rights Campaign’s All Children - All Families (ACAF) division to enhance LGBT cultural competence among child welfare professionals through a 5-hour training workshop. HRC’s Ellen Kahn made for a lively, open ended, day of training as the group learned new things about LGBT adoption from the workshop as well as each other.

Many who entered the workshop, including myself, felt as though they were already very knowledgeable in the field and had more to offer than to learn. We participated in many interactive activities, watched a few shorts, and discussed many different topics of interest that were presented by Ellen as well as the group. By the end of the day, everyone left on the same note feeling much more confident in the information they gathered and much more prepared to apply the practices in their field. 

I was very grateful to have the opportunity to sit in on such an event and thoroughly encourage all organizations to work towards receiving the HRC’s All Children All Families Seal of Approval. HRC continues to support equality for LGBT Americans by lobbying elected officials, mobilizing grassroots supporters, educating Americans, investing strategically to elect fair-minded officials and partnering with other LGBT organizations.

NAC’s LGBT Initiative strives to expand adoption opportunities for children living in foster care by targeting prospective adoptive parents who identify as LGBT.

Adoption is for all. 

7Feb

Wednesday's Child - Wafiq

 

Meet Wafiq, featured last week on Wednesday’s Child. Like music? This guy knows all about it. Wafiq taught himself to play the drums and blew the minds of everyone at Elm Studio when he hopped on the set. Wafiq had a blast showing off his skills and spending some time with host Vai Sikahema and Dave Uosikkinen, the well known drummer and founder of The Hooters. Wafiq knows the importance of practice and can’t wait to start learning different instruments as well.

 

Aside from his love for music, this 7th grader is doing well in school, expresses an interest in his science classes, and is looking forward to possibly joining the school football team. Wafiq is an extremely friendly kid who does best with one on one interaction. When he’s not behind the drums, you can find Waqif rocking out on his Xbox, tossing around the football, or watching some laugh-out-loud comedies.

 
 

Like all other middle schoolers, Waqif knows the importance of having fun and being a kid. Waqif also knows the importance of family and talks a bit about what family means to him. Waqif says his dream is to be adopted. The most ideal family will be able to provide Waqif with the love, structure, and stability that every growing teen deserves. All families will be considered.

Watch Wafiq’s Wednesday’s Child feature.

28Jan

Kahlisha and Felicia - Wednesday's Child

 

Freddie Mac Foundation's Wednesday's Child Philadelphia, is a weekly television feature on NBC10 that helps children living in foster care find permanent, loving, adoptive families. Last week 16-year-old twins, Kahlisha and Felicia, had a special visit to Power 99 FM studios to learn the ins and outs of the studio business and meet radio show personality Cappuchino. These two siblings were a joy to be around. Beginning with a tour of the studio, the teens were already excited. Meeting Cappuchino and learning how she runs the midday show was very cool -Kahlisha and Felicia even got some air time and were able to record a few speaking and even singing notes.

 

Their positive energy was irresistibly contagious - Kahlisha enjoys reading, listening to music, watching TV, and cooking. In school, she participates in cheerleading and track. Kahlisha hopes to pursue a career in broadcasting or become a couples therapist. Felicia has an amazing sense of humor and enjoys activities such as reading, blogging, watching movies, and attending sporting events. In school, she is a member of the lacrosse team. Artistic and creative, she dreams of becoming an actress or artist when she grows up.

 

Although the teens have different goals for the future, they share a common goal for the present. Kahlisha and Felicia yearn to be adopted and have definite ideas about what they want in an adoptive family. Kahlisha’s ideal family would be caring, understanding of teens, and non-judgmental. Felicia hopes a family would be supportive and helpful. Most of all, the siblings would like to be adopted together or at least be able to maintain contact with each other. All families will be considered. 

To see the twins on Wednesdays Child, click to see the video

To inquire about Kahlisha and Felicia, please contact Sheina atsmartinez@adopt.org 

25Jan

The Fantastic Four

 
 
Freddie Mac Foundation's Wednesday's Child Philadelphia, is a weekly television feature on NBC10 that helps children living in foster care find permanent, loving, adoptive families. Last week, Kenneth, 12, Shakenya, 10 and twins Dominick & Deatrick, 9 were featured on the program and spent their day with Vai Sikahema, at Painting With A Twist as they were guided through a creative painting course. The siblings and Vai were provided with a canvas, paint and all other necessary art supplies. The painting course was an extremely entertaining and fun learning experience for them all.

 

 

Kenneth is in the 6th grade, Shakenya in the 5th grade and both Dominick & Deatrick are 3rd graders. All four siblings enjoy school and sports. The boys enjoy playing football while Shakenya enjoys cheerleading. Kenneth is the most social and can usually be found making someone laugh. Shakenya is very responsible and likes to speak on behalf of her brothers. Dominick & Deatrick tend to stick together most of the time when engaging in activities.

 

Kenneth, Shakenya, Dominick & Deatrick dream big of being adopted by a family that is willing to let them continue to grow and mature together. The children share the hope of living in a stable home with a loving forever family. The siblings desire parents that will be willing to spend quality time with them and allow them to participate in extracurricular activities. All families will be considered. 

To see the children’s feature on Wednesday’s Child, click: View Video

To inquire about Kenneth, Shakenya, Dominick & Deatrick, please contact Sheina at smartinez@adopt.org 

21Jan

Crossing Paths

contributed by intern Michelle Johnson
 

As an intern here I had the opportunity to attend a Wednesday’s Child taping at the KYW Newsradio studio. What would happen at the taping is that a few children living in foster care would be interviewed about themselves and what they were looking for in a family. KYW Newsradio would then broadcast these interviews in hopes of finding forever families for these children and raising awareness about adoption in general.

 
That morning, I remember being so nervous. After working at the here for almost 4 months now, the previous notions and assumptions that I had about foster care had already been dismantled…but I still didn't really know what to expect. Coming from more of a sheltered background, I've never been exposed to people that have been through the type of situations that some of these children have experienced and that’s where most of my anxiety came from. I kept thinking how can I interact with them? Will I be able to relate to them in a way that comes off as sympathetic rather than as if I pity them? Will they be willing to open up to me?

When we first arrived I was immediately put into a room with three children and their social workers. Trying to be less awkward than normal, I just sat down after smiling or saying nothing more than “hello” to everyone in the room. I decided I would just listen to the interactions in the room since that would be much easier than engaging in conversation. But when I least expected it, I heard something that triggered a thought in my head. Before I knew it, I started talking with one of the kids. She had dreams of being a basketball player and had attended a game at Drexel University, the school I currently attend. Next thing I knew, we were engaged in one topic after another. It’s funny how a small comment can turn into great conversation. And here I was making the mistake of thinking we would have nothing in common. In that moment she wasn't just a child in foster care, she was a person. 

Initially I thought that she was angry and wouldn't be willing to open up to me in such a small amount of time, based on her facial expression and body language. But once I had listened and we had made the connection, we had a great time. Although it’s so cliché, you truly cannot judge a book by its cover. It’s important to get to know people and base your judgments off of who the person actually is; not what they've been through or what they look like. Two people from two different walks of life can become the best of friends. All it takes is one moment when their paths happen to cross. 

18Jan

Adoption Tax Credit

Thanks to all of your help and support, on January 2, 2013, Congress passed a bill to avert the “fiscal cliff,” ensuring the permanency of the adoption tax credit and extending the tax credit as it was in the 2001 Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act.

The credit will remain "flat" for special needs children, meaning families who adopt a child with special needs do not need to document qualified adoption expenses. A significant majority of foster children are considered special needs. 

For all other adoptions the tax credit has been declared nonrefundable, only benefitting those adoptive families with a federal income tax liability. 

The adoption tax credit applies to all types of adoption and has made adoption a more viable option for many families who may not have the funding to afford adoption otherwise. By preserving this credit and keeping the costs of adoption at a minimum, the incentive for parents to adopt increases, subsequently increasing the opportunity to provide more children with the loving, permanent families they deserve.

We are pleased that the adoption tax credit has been saved, but understand the importance to advocate that it be refundable, which we will do. Congress has expressed interest in long-term solutions and border tax policy reform leaving room to believe that there is a good opportunity for continued support on this subject. 

For more information about the Adoption Tax Credit and ongoing advocacy strategies,

Please visit: www.adoptiontaxcredit.org .

15Jan

Jayden has a home. Thank you.

Our 2012 Adoption Campaign has raised over $30,000 which means children like Jayden are finally home. For good.

 

Siblings Angela (adopted), Jayden (adopted) and Madison. 

Karen and Adam Owens saw Jayden, 3, for the first time when he was featured on the Freddie Mac Foundation’s Wednesday’s Child on NBC 10 in 2011.
 
Karen and Adam knew Jayden would be their son as soon as they saw him on TV. The Owen’s son Gavin, born with a rare chronic illness, passed away at the age of three. Through their loss, the couple kept love in their hearts and knew the time they spent learning the ins and outs of caring for a child with intense medical needs, was not in vain. 

The medical skills they acquired and the incredible love they had for their son made them certain that they wanted to adopt medically fragile children. Which they have done….twice. First with Angela and now Jayden! 

Thanks to the generosity from our supporters, we are able to continue providing resources to foster children who are looking for homes to call their own. Thank you. 

Wishing Everyone a Wonderful New Year, 
The National Adoption Center

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