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We always enjoy bringing you up-to-date about what’s happening in the adoption world. Now we’re especially pleased to give you a front row seat on exciting changes we’ve made that will influence how we work with children and families.

You’ll see new branding: a new look and logo, a clear mission—to increase the number of children in foster care who move into adoptive families—and a vision that reflects the best of our achievements during the past 46 years and all that we want to accomplish in the future.

While the reach of our new, refreshed website is national, our programs, the ones that target children waiting for permanence in their lives, are regional. We embrace both by merging our two corporations—National Adoption Center and Adoption Center of Delaware Valley into simply the Adoption Center. Our goals this year are:

• Move 50 children into permanent families
• Launch a program to recruit, retain and educate prospective foster and adoptive families

We know you feel as passionately about the way children grow up as we do, and we’ll continue to tell you stories about children, families and what we’re doing to give them a better life.

Adoption means a lifetime of love, and we thank you for having helped give so many children the chance to experience it. Please visit our website, follow us on Twitter and look in on us on Facebook. As always, we welcome your comments and communication with us.

Jennifer and Jillian are teen sisters that we started to work with in 2017. From the start, Jillian was completely opposed to adoption while her sister was very open to adoption. The family that was fostering them wanted to adopt the sisters, but Jillian did not want to be a permanent member of this family while Jennifer was open to the idea.

Over time, her adoption recruiter worked with Jillian to understand her reason for being opposed to adoption. Developing an understanding of her reluctance was vital, as she was not only preventing herself from finding an adoptive family, but was also keeping her sister from doing so. Her recruiter discovered that Jillian's fear was the because of the word "adoption" and ultimately her fear of the unknown. With exploring and discussion Jillian started to become more open to exploring adoption.

While the recruiter worked with the sisters, she also worked to find a family who would be a good fit for them. Linda Jones indicated her interest in the sisters via an online-photolisting inquiry. Linda was a single woman, living hundreds of miles away, and wanted to adopt both girls. Over time, with work, Jillian became interested in learning about Linda. Quickly she even began talking about Linda as if she was already her mother. After the first visit with Linda, "mom" is how the Jennifer and Jillian referred to her. Visits continued and eventually all agreed to proceed with the process of adoption. This family legally became a family in July 2018 when the adoptions were finalized.

*Names have been changes to protect the privacy of those involved.

National Adoption Month is a time where we celebrate adoption from the foster care system. We have many exciting things planned - so keep tuning in all month to see what is coming up next!

For more about the origins of National Adoption Month, check out the Children's Bureau fine website.

On Saturday March 17th we had the opportunity to co-sponsor our first match event of the year with SWAN (Pennsylvania Statewide Adoption and Permanency Network). This Philadelphia-based match event focused on older children (10+). We returned to beautiful Citizens Bank Park, home of the Phillies for an eventful day. We had a wonderful turnout of children and families. Most of the youth and families arrived feeling excited and a bit nervous. This mixture of feelings is normal for an event such as this one. With help of our wonderful facilitator Josh, we began doing activities to help ease the group into the day.

The day began with separate meetings for the families and the youth. In these smaller groups, the participants met one another, got an overview of the day, and a chance to get their questions about the day answered. Our Master of Ceremonies, Josh, led the youth and families through a variety of icebreakers and team-building games. These started off as a way to get the group comfortable with one another, and then grew as opportunities for everyone to get to know each other on a deeper level. The kids and families had fun completing the activities together. After a morning full of activities, we enjoyed a buffet style lunch with Philly Cheesesteaks, and a surprise visit from Phoebe Phanatic. Phoebe and the youth took a surplus of group photos in our photobooth, trying on a variety of props and poses.

At the end of the day the group was surprised with a “behind the scenes tour” of the stadium. Afterwards, the youth participated in an activity we call “Everyone Has a Voice.” This event highlights the youth in attendance. The youth and Josh sit in a circle, while all adults sit around them. The adults are asked not to respond or react to answers, and allow the youth to share openly without judgement. We wrapped up the day with ice cream and smiles all around!

Our most generous long-term relationship is with Wendy’s, an organization whose values highlight "Give something back". With them, you can support our work by going into your local Philadelphia-area Wendy’s and buying a key tag for $2. This entitles you to a FREE Jr. Frosty with each purchase throughout all of 2018 and proceeds benefit NAC. This fundraising vehicle has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the National Adoption Center over the years. Sales of the key tags, which began January 1, runs through March 4th.

Wendy’s is also the premier sponsor of our annual Celebration of Family Gala and our Fall Golf Tournament. Anthony Romeo, president of the Wendy’s Philadelphia Co-op is a NAC board member. We are eternally grateful for their support and hope you’ll frequent their restaurants as you support our mission to find adoptive homes for children and older youth languishing in foster care. Dave Thomas believed strongly in adoption and his legacy is carried on to this day by the great folks at Wendy’s. We would be hard-pressed to come up with a more generous partner than Wendy’s!

Hello everyone! My name is Sami Rovins, and I recently joined the National Adoption Center’s team as an Administrative Assistant. I am thrilled to be assisting in the planning and implementation of three Matching Events for older youth to meet potential adoptive families in the state of Pennsylvania!

I have been working in the field of nonprofit development, communications, and fundraising for four years, but the world of adoption is entirely new to me. As I walked to the NAC office on my first day, I worried about how much I had yet to learn. However, over the course of my first month at NAC, I have found my new colleagues to be incredibly welcoming, patient, and supportive. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the kindness, dedication, and humor my coworkers bring to NAC’s office. As a result, my first weeks at NAC have already been an enormous learning experience.

I am so excited to witness as our Older Youth Matching Events develop and take shape. I felt very encouraged when I learned recently that NAC’s 2017 events have already produced successful results for at least two youth attendees. I’m looking forward to seeing the results of this year’s Matching Events, and looking forward to my future as an Administrative Assistant at the National Adoption Center!

Hi everyone! My name is Naomi Goldberg, and I am excited to say that I am completing an internship with the National Adoption Center! I am a senior Human Development & Family Studies major from Pennsylvania State University. The HDFS program has helped me quickly realize my interests in human service organizations, counseling, advocacy work, and social work. Post-graduation I hope to get my MSW, and work with youth in foster care specifically targeting professional development and independence skills. My love for working with youth in foster care helped me find myself working with the National Adoption Center, which I think is a perfect match for me!

In my first day I was able to explore and expand my knowledge of the foster care and adoption by becoming familiar with resources and literature that is available to not only me and the staff, but as well as inquiring families. These cover a range of topics from things as broad as “how do I get started”, to as complex as exploring the attachment style of adopted families. It was incredible to have such a wealth of knowledge available to me so quickly.

I was also able to have hands on experience brainstorming potential Wednesday’s Child film sites based on youth unique personalities and interests! This was amazing, because not only did I get to take a closer look at the people I will be working with in the next couple of months, but also allowed me to think creatively about places within the city that could be a perfect match for prospective shoots!

I felt like I had so many amazing opportunities and learning experiences with just one day, I am ecstatic to see what the rest of my experience with the National Adoption Center holds!

Did you know? Adoption matching events bring results! Last June, at our National Adoption Center/SWAN Western Pennsylvania matching event, two youth connected with families that attended.

Over the course of the summer and into the fall, those youth and families continued to get to know one another through exchanging information and visiting. One of the youth moved in with his new family and hopefully the second youth will move in soon. (Sometimes adoption happens quickly and sometimes there is a need to move ahead cautiously.) What is most important in that we continue to look for permanent loving homes for all of our youth. They all need and deserve it!

Please think about joining us at one of our events. Our Pennsylvania ones will be held on:
March 17th (Philadelphia area)
June 9th (Western PA)
October 6th (Central PA)

Families need a completed family profile/homestudy in order to attend.

More information is available by contacting me, Julie Marks, at pateen@adopt.org or 267-443-1875.

We would love to see you there & events in other states will be announced soon.

As we prepare to go into the second half of our fiscal year, we have a great deal to be proud of. The National Adoption Center will celebrate its 46th anniversary in 2018 and in that time we’ve found forever families for more than 24,000 children who would otherwise have languished in foster care. We continue to be a leader in adoption technology and have recently held a series of child welfare roundtables to help us understand even better how technology can help to get more children adopted. We’ve redoubled our communications efforts, resulting in new promotional materials that best explain the plight of these children and youth, and hopefully, encourage people to adopt them. Our weekly features continue to run on television, radio and in print, each highlighting one of ”our kids”. Nearly sixty percent of the children we feature end up placed in adoptive homes. Social media, of course continues to be a mainstay of our efforts.

Programmatically, we’ve been busier than ever before, with plans to hold at least seven Match Events, a proven recruitment tool. Our Wendy’s Wonderful Kids recruiters continue to work closely with their caseloads, mining the files to see who out there may become a forever family.

We are excited to announce that we are planning three older-youth matching events in Pennsylvania for 2018!

The dates and locations are:

    Philadelphia area on Saturday March 17th
    Western Pennsylvania on Saturday June 9th
    Central Pennsylvania on Saturday October 6th

Older youth matching events bring youth, ages 12 and older, together with families interested in adopting kids in this age group. Families need to have a completed homestudy in order to participate. We’ll spend the day together getting acquainted, finding out what we have in common with one another and generally having fun.

There is no cost to attend these events. Families in the past have said how much they enjoyed the chance to meet kids “live and in person.” Don’t miss out on this opportunity to meet an amazing group of kids who are in need of permanent, loving parents.

Want more information or to be added to our invitation list? Please contact Julie Marks, Older Youth program manager, at pateen@adopt.org or 267-443-1875.

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