Thursday, November 11, 2010

Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute Internship Opportunity for Young Adults Who are Former Foster Children

Copied from an 11/2/10 North American Council on Adoptable Children( e-mail:

The Foster Youth Internship Program of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI) is for young adults who spent at least 24 consecutive months in foster care at any point in their life and who have completed at least four semesters of higher education by May 31, 2011. CCAI places these interns in Congressional offices in Washington, DC for a 9-week internship program.

Housing, travel, and a weekly stipend are provided by CCAI. Applications are accepted now until January 7, 2011. The program will run May 31-July 30, 2011. The goal of the program is to educate policymakers about the experiences of foster youth in an effort to inspire legislative improvements for foster care. Interns participating in this program benefit both personally and professionally, gaining experience and skills that will bolster their careers for years to come. If you are unfamiliar with the program, please watch a short video to learn more about this unique experience: For more information and to apply, visit or contact Emily Collins at
or 202-544-8500.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Loving God's Children Adoption and Orphan Care Ministry Upcoming Walk for Orphans

Copied from

Loving God's Children is proud to announce our first walk for orphans. The Walk Home - will be a family friendly event that takes place on Saturday, November 20, 2010 at 9:30am. We will start on Pauls Street at the beginning of the Brandon Parkway and walk one and a half miles to the Brandon Town Center mall.

If you are interested in joining the walk or just sponsoring someone, please contact us at,

For those of you that do not live in the area, please feel free to get sponsors for the walk and walk a mile and a half in your own neighborhood or local park.

We appreciate your support!

Sylvia Thomas Center Adoption Support Group November Meeting Topic: "The Real Me: Documenting Your Child's Story in a Lifebook"

What: Sylvia Thomas Center's November Adoption Support Group Meeting
When: Thursday, November 11th, 6:30 - 8:00pm.
Where: Sylvia Thomas Center
716 S. Oakwood Avenue
Brandon, FL 33511

Presenting on the evening's topic, "The Real Me: Documenting Your Child's Story in a Lifebook," will be Kevin Slack, STC's Training Institute Director,and Renee Walker, STC's Family Support Counselor. From Kevin: "A Lifebook is simply a history of a child's life thus far, in a easy to read format which may include photos, history, special memories, certificates, and records of favorite things and events. This will be an opportunity to learn the importance of this tool for your adopted child(ren)."

As November is National Adoption Month, STC will also be using this meeting to promote their upcoming Lifebook event, scheduled for Saturday, November 13, 2010 from 10am - 2pm. For more information on the event, please call STC's office at
(813) 651-3150

Please also RSVP for the November 11th meeting by calling STC's office at (813) 651-3150. Let STC know if you will be bringing children, how many, their ages and any special needs so that we may prepare for their care. Childcare is on a first come, first serve basis and space is limited. Light refreshments will be served.

Attachment and Trauma Network, Inc. Lifeline Webinar: Surviving The Holidays With Your Traumatized Child

Copied from an 11/8/2010 Attachment & Trauma Network, Inc. (ATN) email update

The holidays can be stressful for healthy families. But for traumatized children and their families, the holidays present a special challenge. Family traditions and parental expectations clash with our wounded children’s fears of intimacy and anxiety over changes in schedule. Add visits from extended family who don’t “get it” and excitement over festivities and gifts and you can quickly have a recipe for disaster.

Janice Turber, attachment & trauma therapist with the Center for Attachment Resources & Enrichment, and Nancy Spoolstra, founder of ATN and experienced mom, will discuss some strategies for altering expectations and their experiences with surviving the holiday season.

When: 8:30 p.m. EST on Thursday, November 11th

Where: The ATN Online Classroom

How: Click here to register

How much: $10 for ATN members, $25 for non-members. (Or join ATN at and get a coupon for a free webinar!)

Need Support Now?

Call ATN's Warm Line: 240-357-7369
All calls returned within 24 hours

Join ATN's Online Support Groups at

Details of Hillsborough County's National Adoption Day Celebration

What: A Celebration of National Adoption Day
When: Fri, November 19, 2010 9am – 1pm
Where: George E Edgecomb Courthouse, 801 E. Twiggs Street, Tampa, Florida

30 adoption finalizations will take place on the 6th floor of courthouse. Adoptive mom Lauren Dungy will be the keynote speaker. Activities include first new family portraits, face painting, refreshments, and the Heart Gallery exhibit. For more information, please contact Kathie Michael at

Florida Presents "30 Days of Amazing Children: Explore Adoption!"

Videos, photos of children dreaming of forever families featured on during National Adoption Month in November

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The "30 Days of Amazing Children: Explore Adoption!" initiative presenting children in foster care who dream of being adopted by forever families was unveiled today by Florida Department of Children and Families Secretary George Sheldon and Florida’s Chief Child Advocate Jim Kallinger.

A different "Amazing Child" available for adoption in Florida is being featured every day during National Adoption Month in November on Many of the featured teens, sibling groups and children with medical needs are depicted on videos as they talk about themselves and their hopes to become part of a loving family. About 850 children are available for adoption on any given day in Florida, and more than half of them are teenagers.

"Floridians are encouraged to visit during November and become acquainted with children available for adoption and their dreams of belonging to a family," Secretary Sheldon said. "These are Florida's children. Their futures depend on actions that all of us can take to raise adoption awareness and recruit loving adoptive families."

Speaking at the celebration that kicked off National Adoption Month in Florida at Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park was 17-year-old Robert, whose adoption becomes official this month. Kim Johnson and her husband decided last March to adopt Robert, who spent half of his life in foster care. Kim first encountered Robert when she searched looking for a teen in need of a family. The Johnsons also have two biological children, ages 3 and 4.

"I'm not in foster care any more. I'm really happy. It's more than I expected," Robert said of being adopted by the Johnson family. "All the comfort and love, it's really extraordinary. You have someone to fall back on." He gets along great with his sister Sage and brother Kaden, likes doing math and playing video games, and thinks it’s cool to have a dog named Buddy.

"We had an extraordinary first meeting. It just felt so natural." Kim Johnson said. "We are so blessed to have a son like him. What an amazing great big brother. To Robert, it has meant a vision of what he wants to do in life and the stability of knowing where home is and where he can be."

Florida is a national model on adoptions, collecting a total of more than $15 million in federal bonuses in 2009 and 2010 for increasing the adoption of children in foster care. More than 12,000 Florida children in foster care were adopted over the past three and a half years. Florida also currently is best among the states in achieving adoptions in a timely manner.

"When children in foster care are adopted by a permanent family, they feel loved, secure and positive about their future," Chief Child Advocate Kallinger said. "The many adoptive parents I have met are equally overjoyed to add these wonderful children to their families. We just need to keep spreading the adoption message."

Children in foster care who do not achieve permanency with a family before transitioning out of care at age 18 are at higher risk of being arrested, becoming teenage moms, dropping out of school and becoming homeless. Over the past three and a half years, Florida has safely reduced the number of children in foster care by nearly 11,000, or 36 percent, through adoptions, permanent guardianships and reunification with parents.

Credit for Florida's adoption successes is shared by many committed partners, including the Explore Adoption campaign, the Governor's Office of Adoption and Child Protection, DCF, Agency for Persons with Disabilities, community based care lead agencies, local adoption providers, Forever Family, Heart Galleries, One Church One Child and many others.

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), a new partner, is giving free passes to state parks to all families finalizing adoptions of children in foster care during National Adoption Month. Several state parks also are hosting adoption celebrations.

"At DEP, we realize the importance of outdoor activities that families can enjoy together," said Bob Ballard, DEP Deputy Secretary for Land and Recreation. "We proudly manage 160 Florida state parks which are recognized as premier family-friendly destinations. Florida state parks not only offer unlimited outdoor recreation, but are educational and teeming with history."

Nearly 50 adoption celebrations and finalization ceremonies are being held throughout Florida this November. Find out about an event in your area at

While private forms of adoption can cost upwards of $30,000, adopting one of Florida's children in foster care costs little or nothing. The benefits include a monthly adoption subsidy for the family, health benefits for the child, and free college tuition at a Florida public university, community college or vocational school. The federal adoption tax credit recently was raised to $13,170 per child and is refundable, meaning eligible taxpayers can receive it regardless of whether or not they owe taxes for that year.

For more information, please visit