May is Foster Care Awareness Month. Right now, there are more than 430,000 children in foster care. Some will be reunified with their biological families, but others will not. Today, more than 117,000 are in need of a loving, adoptive home.
For the past four years, Alex has known the love of a forever family, but for the first five years of his life, things weren’t as happy.
Alex was adopted from foster care when he was five. After being moved to different homes, one after the other, he was finally placed with the Moreno-Bell family and knew that he had a permanent, supportive family who wanted to keep him with them forever.
Today at age 9, he likes to travel, play sports and eat Frostys! His dad shared that Alex loves hearing about fellow adoptee, Dave Thomas, and all that he accomplished.
Each year the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption highlights the nation’s Top 100 Best Adoption-Friendly Workplace employers. The survey is based on financial reimbursement for adoption costs and paid leave after an adoption.
Right now, the 2018 survey is open. The Foundation is proud of the growing list of businesses like Vanguard that help families with the costs of private infant and international adoptions (foster care adoptions are low cost and often free) along with giving all adoptive families time to bond.
This month's guest blog is about stepping out of your comfort zone in order to be the forever family a young teen deserves. “At that moment, I knew I would be the one human who would be there for her – no matter what. I knew I wanted to hear her call me “mom.” I wanted to help her pick out her prom dress, to teach her to drive, to watch her walk across the graduation stage. Someday, I may be the mother of a bride and the grandmother to her children. No matter what, I will always be her mom.”
Imagine all your major life milestones happening without your family there to celebrate.
That was life for 15-year-old Carlo. He entered foster care as a toddler and for 13 years was bounced home to home without the stability of a permanent address, let alone a loving, permanent family.
Finally, at age 15, with the help of a caring adoption recruiter, Carlo was adopted by the Hatla family. He has been a proud member of the family since November 2017 and his mom says he is “kind, smart and funny.”
Israel is five years old. His mother and father say he makes friends wherever he goes, but it’s a far cry from how his life started.
At just five years old, Israel has spent more than four years in foster care. He was put into eight different foster homes, he was separated from his siblings and he was labeled difficult and “unadoptable.” At only three years old, the system gave up on him.
The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption is excited to share our successes from our 25th anniversary year. Check out our annual report to learn more about the families created through the Wendy's Wonderful Kids program, the adoption recruiters who are so dedicated to our mission and the donors who make their work possible.
The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption is proud to fund adoption recruiter positions throughout the U.S. and Canada at private and public adoption agencies. These recruiters are part of our signature adoption program called Wendy’s Wonderful Kids.
There are more than 300 Wendy’s Wonderful Kids adoption recruiters who work specifically to find loving, permanent homes for the children who have been in foster care the longest. These dedicated professionals work with older children, sibling groups and children with special needs.
In honor of National Professional Social Worker Month, we wanted to share a very special story.
Jessica Phoenix is a Wendy’s Wonderful Kids adoption recruiter in Florida who works every day to find safe, loving families for children waiting in foster care. This past year she adopted Zay, a teen on her caseload who had all but given up hope for a family. His adoption was finalized just days before his 18th birthday. Here is their story: