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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

24Dec

When Strangers Become Family

We share this with you as a wish for peace and love this holiday season.
 
When Strangers Become Family 
 
by: Michelle Johnson 
Development Intern
 
 
 
[Written in the voice of a child awaiting adoption and a 
 
husband longing for a child until their worlds collide] 
 
 
 
Who do I belong to? 
 
They gave me life and a name 
 
but no one to hold on to 
 
A life of inconsistency 
 
Nothing’s ever the same 
 
Could this be home? 
 
or only for today? 
 
I’ll dream forever 
 
if I wake to new scenery 
 
of a family 
 
embracing me with love 
 
and never leaving me 
 
 
 
Everything I’ve ever wanted 
 
as far as material things 
 
but still so incomplete 
 
I wanna feel the happiness 
 
that only a child brings 
 
Fill the hole in my heart 
 
Fulfillment to my life 
 
A reason to smile 
 
for me and my wife 
 
 
 
And then I met you 
 
Every thing I’ve ever needed 
 
My life anew 
 
My love will help you cope 
 
I know your past 
 
With you there is hope 
 
No more calamity 
 
 
 
Closer to world peace 
 
When strangers become family
21Dec

Wednesday's Child - Megan

 

Megan is a sweet and beautiful 15- year- old originally from Guatemala. Art, computers, listening to Spanish music, and basketball are just some of her favorite pastimes. In school, she gets along well with her peers and teachers. While Spanish is her first language, she has made great gains in learning to speak English. She is a friendly and helpful teen with a goal to some day work in a salon.

Hair wash, cut, blow dry and make-up are the things Louis Christian Wayne Robert Salon and Spa offered to Megan for her Wednesday’s Child taping. As assumed, she gladly accepted! Wednesday’s Child host Vai Sikahema was there to witness her turn even more into a beauty. She and Vai were able to chat with staff as they dedicated their time with her and listened to her amazing story of how she came to America and how she hopes to soon be adopted into a loving family. 

Megan had an amazing day getting pampered Vai later sat with her to talk about the importance of family. Megan is actively involved in her recruitment process for a family. She would like to be in a family that will love her unconditionally. All families will be considered.

 
To view her original feature, click here.
To view an extended feature, click here. 
19Dec

This Holiday Season

Blog by Emily Meekins, intern. 
 

It’s the holiday season and the hustle and bustle is in full throttle as the end of the year approaches. As I walk the city streets gathering my final gifts for loved ones, it hurts to make eye contact with the lost souls that flood the streets in December hoping that the spirit of giving is still alive. Especially after the tragedy in Connecticut this past week, we hold our loved ones close and are reminded of the importance of family, what our family means to us, and how our lives would be affected if a loved one were lost.

To fathom the heartache of what these families are going through is unimaginable; equally as heartbreaking is imagining life without a family, without loved ones, and without a place to call home. There are over 104,000 children across the United States who will spend another holiday season dreaming of finding a loving family and stable home. While the winter holidays are often perceived as the happiest time of the year, with much emphasis on the importance of family and being with those you love, it is easy to forget that not everyone is experiencing the same kind of expectant joy. 

This year, let us extend our loving arms and giving hands to those in need. Whether it’s providing someone with a loving family, a home-cooked meal, or simply sharing your story –giving the gift of love, kindness, and awareness touches the lives of everyone around you. 

What does adoption mean to you and how has it touched your life? It takes a thousand voices to tell a single story, be apart of the bigger picture. 

"Stories live in your blood and bones, follow the seasons and light candles on the darkest night-every storyteller knows she or he is also a teacher..." —Patti Davis 

13Dec

Phillies Charities Holiday Party

 
Ken & Katie join the Phanatic! 

Ken, our Executive Director, and Katie, our Development Manager, attended the Phillies Charities Holiday Party on Monday at the Diamond Club at Citizen’s Bank Ballpark. The room was filled with representatives from nearly 50 charities that received support from the Phillies over the past year.

Each group was spotlighted throughout the course of the program, and we were thrilled to feature one of our Wednesday’s Child Philadelphia clips that told the story of a family we have helped to create. Ken also had the opportunity to address the crowd, describing the need for adoption among older youth living in foster care. 

 
Ken with Phillies' Manager Charlie Manual
One of the highlights of the evening – apart from getting an autograph from Phillies Manager Charlie Manuel! – was learning about the inspiring work taking place in nonprofits across Philadelphia. Their causes and missions were varied, from housing for veterans to care packages for families with ailing children, but the passion was the same. It felt good to be a part of this community of care. 

PS – We’ll be auctioning off our Charlie Manuel autographed-Phillie Phanatic at our fundraising gala on April 25th at the Crystal Tea Room! Stay tuned for more information about this exciting event!

10Dec

Unique Gift Idea

Looking for an affordable unique gift made by children to help children?
 
 

We have them right here.

The National Adoption Center is providing child-created notecards for a $15 donation that are perfect for any occasion! The package consists of ten irresistible cards designed by 3rd graders in answer to the question, “What does family mean to you?” The results warm the heart and could make you laugh. Through this purchase you are helping find homes for children who are spending this holiday season in search of a safe and loving family.

So feel good about your holiday purchasing and give a gift that benefits children and allows NAC to continue to impact the world of adoption.

To order cards click HERE.

5Dec

Ripple Effect

No one ever knows the ripple effect of what they do. How could we have predicted that a film documentary maker who attended one of “match party” would lead to 170 children living in foster care having the opportunity to hear a weekend concert by Jay-Z in Philadelphia? Leah Stauffer, who is working on a documentary about foster care and adoption was so impressed by the children and social workers she met at a “match party” several months ago that she was determined to stay in touch with us, arranging to interview the our executive director and communications director as her work progressed. When she had the opportunity over Labor Day weekend to get several tickets to a special Jay-Z concert in downtown Philadelphia, she knew she wanted to make them available to the children she had met. Within 48 hours, a social worker for SWAN, Pennsylvania’s statewide adoption network, had emailed her families. Leah was stunned when emails flooded her computer—dozens of children with their foster parents wanted to attend. When Leah passed the word on to the Shawn Carter Foundation, started by Jay-Z and his mother, Gloria, the director there told her to include as many children as wanted to come. That number turned out to be 170. Jay-Z was so moved by the experience that he made a similar offer to children living under the care of New York's foster care system for a concert at the new Barclay Center in Brooklyn! 

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