Colorado’s Parents of the Year are of the adoptive kind

July 23, 2008

in Adoption

Imagine my pleasure (but not surprise) to find my friends, George and Kari Grady Grossman all over the Denver media. They’ve popped up on TV (Colorado & Company, July 14) and in the Rocky Mountain News as Colorado’s Parents of the Year.

I’ve written about Kari in this space twice before. She and George are parents to Grady, 8, who was born in Cambodia, and Shanti, 4, born in India.

Kari has written a heartwarming book about her son’s story, Bones That Float: A Story of Adopting Cambodia. For me, this account is about so much more than adoption — it’s also a history lesson, an examination of both the worst and the best in humanity, and the mystical forces that bring us together.

Kari and George have created something truly amazing. With strong desire to help Cambodians help themselves in spite of some incredibly daunting factors (genocide, ever-present landmines, sustenance farming and ecological destruction, hunger and child prostitution) they founded the Friends of the Grady Grossman School several years ago. Its mission, however, has grown from “just” education to addressing both more immediate and more long-lasting needs.

In fact, FGGS is about to unveil its new name, Sustainable Schools International. As Kari explains, “Our refocused mission is to empower Cambodian Communities to sustain schools through economic development.”

If you are looking for a cause to support, I highly recommend this one.

I’m eager to hear Chicklet’s impressions from her trip when she gets back. Because of Kari’s book, as well as another, First They Killed My Father, I have an extended trip to Cambodia on my Bucket List.

Kari and George will be competing for the National Parents of the Year Award, which will be announced this Sunday.

I am hoping that Kari and George are able to shine a national spotlight on Sustainable Schools International. Best wishes to them this weekend!

(Photo of Grossman family by Mara Auster/The Coloradoan)

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Julia April 7, 2010 at 12:27 am

Woot! Happy for them, and I hope they win the national title.

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IdleMindOfBeth April 7, 2010 at 12:27 am

Awesome! Just… Awesome!

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Julia April 7, 2010 at 12:27 am

Woot! Happy for them, and I hope they win the national title.

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IdleMindOfBeth April 7, 2010 at 12:27 am

Awesome! Just… Awesome!

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katd April 7, 2010 at 12:27 am

That is so awesome!! I hope they win:) What a fantastic cause, too.And thank you so much for your support regarding my new job:) I really appreciate it, and you’ll definitely have to come with me if I move my blog. You can’t get rid of me that easily:)

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luna April 7, 2010 at 12:27 am

what a wonderful story, and people! congratulations to them.

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katd April 7, 2010 at 12:27 am

That is so awesome!! I hope they win:) What a fantastic cause, too.And thank you so much for your support regarding my new job:) I really appreciate it, and you’ll definitely have to come with me if I move my blog. You can’t get rid of me that easily:)

Reply

luna April 7, 2010 at 12:27 am

what a wonderful story, and people! congratulations to them.

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Geohde April 7, 2010 at 12:27 am

:) They sound absolutely deserving of the recognition,J

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Sheri April 7, 2010 at 12:27 am

Good luck to Kari and George. Their story is heart-warming. I hope they win. Keep us “posted.”

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Steph April 7, 2010 at 12:27 am

You know these people? NO WAY!!!This is beyond weird because I have been recently looking for ways to lend my talents to non-governmental relief organizations. Because I grew up around many former Cambodian refugees I was keenly interested in becoming involved in that region. The history and personal stories of many of these folks were nothing short of horrifying and the choices that many of them were forced to make are unfathomable, yet they came here and continued to survive and – in many cases – the relocated Cambodian communities thrive on American soil. Anyway, someone I know knew of my interest and forwarded me a few links and this school was among them. It is so good to hear from you – a legitimate source – that these people are legitimate themselves. I’ve been warned by other aid workers with experience in non-governmental organizations that sometimes con artists will use a charity ruse as a method to fleece well-meaning and relatively wealthy westerners. It’s wonderful that these people are doing such good work and extending an opportunity for others to do the same. WOO HOO!(Another thing we have in common: an extended trip to Cambodia is on my bucket list too!)

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Kari April 7, 2010 at 12:27 am

thank you so much for the accolades and support for our mission. I have to admit that “parents of the year” seems a little much….I mean there are many more people than us deserving of that moniker. Whatever it takes to sell books and raise money, I guess. I sincerely appreciate your help in spreading the word!!Kari

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MrsSpock April 7, 2010 at 12:27 am

How neat! My SIL has spent the past 18 months in SE Asia (much of it in Cambodia) learning and teaching yoga, as well as volunteering at a shelter for street children in Cambodia. What a wonderful cause…

Reply

Geohde April 7, 2010 at 12:27 am

:) They sound absolutely deserving of the recognition,J

Reply

Sheri April 7, 2010 at 12:27 am

Good luck to Kari and George. Their story is heart-warming. I hope they win. Keep us “posted.”

Reply

Steph April 7, 2010 at 12:27 am

You know these people? NO WAY!!!This is beyond weird because I have been recently looking for ways to lend my talents to non-governmental relief organizations. Because I grew up around many former Cambodian refugees I was keenly interested in becoming involved in that region. The history and personal stories of many of these folks were nothing short of horrifying and the choices that many of them were forced to make are unfathomable, yet they came here and continued to survive and – in many cases – the relocated Cambodian communities thrive on American soil. Anyway, someone I know knew of my interest and forwarded me a few links and this school was among them. It is so good to hear from you – a legitimate source – that these people are legitimate themselves. I’ve been warned by other aid workers with experience in non-governmental organizations that sometimes con artists will use a charity ruse as a method to fleece well-meaning and relatively wealthy westerners. It’s wonderful that these people are doing such good work and extending an opportunity for others to do the same. WOO HOO!(Another thing we have in common: an extended trip to Cambodia is on my bucket list too!)

Reply

Kari April 7, 2010 at 12:27 am

thank you so much for the accolades and support for our mission. I have to admit that “parents of the year” seems a little much….I mean there are many more people than us deserving of that moniker. Whatever it takes to sell books and raise money, I guess. I sincerely appreciate your help in spreading the word!!Kari

Reply

MrsSpock April 7, 2010 at 12:27 am

How neat! My SIL has spent the past 18 months in SE Asia (much of it in Cambodia) learning and teaching yoga, as well as volunteering at a shelter for street children in Cambodia. What a wonderful cause…

Reply

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