This post is sponsored by SAFY, Specialized Alternatives for Families and Youth.
It’s October, a month when we think of scary (but safe) things and trash bags that will soon hold candy.
October is also a lead-in to November, known to so many of us as National Adoption Awareness Month (emphasis on awareness).
Longtime readers will recall how the purpose for National Adoption Month got off its original track in recent decades. In 1976, Adoption Week in Massachusetts had the goal to “promote awareness of the need for adoptive families for children in foster care” (Child Welfare Information Gateway). In other words, to find homes for children who needed one.
Somewhere along the expansion from one state to all states and from a week to a month, the purpose also expanded. So let’s take a moment — as we sometimes do with the commercialization of Christmas and what its original meaning was — to return to basics.
Imagine you’re a child. You’re in an unsafe situation at home. For reasons you don’t understand, all you know is that you’re often hungry, sometimes scared, possibly hurt. You’re seeing and enduring things no human should see and endure, especially a child.
Imagine one day a lady comes to take you away. It’s bewildering. She’s telling you to get in her car and it’ll be OK! The lady tries to calm you down and soothe you. She drives you to an office and tells you she’s going to find you a safe place to land.
It feels like you’re going from known chaos to unknown chaos.
More than 400,000 children are currently in need of foster care (3,500 in my state of Colorado). For various reasons, there simply aren’t enough available homes to serve as safe landing spaces for children while their parents get help and work a plan to get back on track to provide a safe landing space themselves.
Would you consider being a safe landing for a child who desperately needs a landing pad?
If you happen to be in Colorado, and want to look into Colorado’s Professional Foster Parent License Program, check out this resource to see what this might mean for you.
If you are in another state served by SAFY, get started at safy.org.
Specialized Alternatives for Families and Youth (SAFY)
SAFY is a nonprofit provider of foster care, foster-to-adopt, and other child/family services. It serves Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Colorado, Nevada, South Carolina, and Alabama. If you’re in one of these states, SAFY invites you to consider opening your home to a child who needs one.
Who is invited? Current parents and future parents. Single and partnered people. Cis-gender and LGBTQIA+ folks. SAFY invites people In those states to consider the need for foster families in your state and look into how you might provide a home for a child who needs one.
Might yours be one of those homes? Could you be able to provide a safe landing place for a child to be while their family members get help with the tough task of providing everything a child needs amid today’s pressures? Might you become part of that child’s team to get through a crisis? Take a tiny step by simply clicking to learn more.
If this is not something you can do at this time, or if you don’t live in one of the states mentioned, consider donating — no matter what state you live in. The Builders of Hope campaign now has matching donors, so you can double your impact.
The lady puts you back in the car and takes you to a new house. All you have with you are the clothes on your back, your favorite lovey, and what you were able to quickly stuff in a trash bag when the lady scooped you up and said it would all be okay.
Okay seems very far away.
You arrive at a home. As you exit the the car, you hold tightly to your lovey and your trash bag of stuff. A kind-looking person greets you, giving you a glance that says I see you. I am here for you. This is a safe place for you as long as you need it.
You go forward bravely.
The Spirit Behind
Is it a coincidence that the scariness of Halloween in October is followed by the comfort of All Saint’s Day of November? No one qualifies as a saint, but non-saints can step up to provide a home for a child who needs one.
That’s the spirit behind the original concept of National Adoption Month.
- SAFY on Facebook
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- SAFY on Instagram
- SAFY on LinkedIn
- SAFY on YouTube
- Colorado’s Professional Foster Parent License Program
Lori Holden, mom of a young adult daughter and a young adult son, writes from Denver. She was honored as an Angel in Adoption® by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute.
Her first book, The Open-Hearted Way to Open Adoption: Helping Your Child Grow Up Whole, makes a thoughtful anytime gift for the adoptive families in your life. Her second book, Standing Room Only: How to Be THAT Yoga Teacher is now available in paperback, and her third book, Adoption Unfiltered, is now available through your favorite bookseller!
Find Lori’s books on her Amazon Author page and catch episodes of Adoption: The Long View wherever you get your podcasts.