National Adoption Awareness Month and National Adoption Day
With the turn of the calendar to November, Arms Wide Adoption Services will join other organizations across the country in recognizing National Adoption Awareness Month, as well as National Adoption Day. National Adoption Awareness Month is a nationwide effort to educate the public and prospective parents on the struggles many adoption eligible children face in finding a family and how they can help, as well as a celebration of adoption success stories. National Adoption Day is a one day, focused collaboration between policymakers and advocates to facilitate the finalization of adoptions in progress and to honor the many wonderful families who have been created through adoption. In 2016, approximately 4,700 children were adopted on National Adoption Day across the United States, with nearly 50 children being adopted in Harris County. Both events strive to raise awareness of the thousands of children eligible for adoption in the US, but who are awaiting a permanent home and may continue waiting for months or even years more.
“We at Arms Wide Adoption Services have the unique and privileged perspective to witness firsthand families being fulfilled through adoption,” said Vikki Finley, President and CEO of Arms Wide Adoption Services. “We want to help everyone understand the joy and excitement surrounding adoption and to encourage anyone who is even considering to take the time to learn a little more about the process.”
Looking back, the first National Adoption week was proclaimed in 1984 by President Ronald Reagan. In 1995, President Bill Clinton extended the week to the entire month of November. Federal, state, local and private adoption agencies, as well as businesses and nonprofit organizations across the country will lead special events, hold volunteer recruitment, coordinate fundraising and donation efforts, and produce awareness campaigns on the topic of foster care and adoption – highlighting statistics and facts as well as addressing common concerns and myths – all in an effort to encourage more families to consider adoption.
How Arms Wide Adoption Services Is Celebrating
This month marks many events for Arms Wide Adoption Services. Every Wednesday, the organization will host Information Meetings at its offices off Portwest Drive at 6 p.m. Attending an Information Meeting is the first required step in the process towards becoming an Arms Wide adoptive parent. During the Information Meeting, an Arms Wide Coordinator will walk you through the process of fostering or adopting a child or children in foster care.
Arms Wide Adoption Services will also host its largest fundraiser of the year – its 2017 All In For Adoption Texas Hold ‘Em Tournament. Co-Chaired by Steve Kennedy, Will Maxwell and Michael Tsang and hosted on Thursday, November 16, 2017, this event has become one of the premier poker tournaments in Houston. Tickets are still available via the Arms Wide website.
In addition to these events, Arms Wide Adoption Services will also participate in meet-and-greet opportunities located at five local faith-based communities through a partnership with Orphan Care Solutions of Texas on November 11 and November 18, 2017.
Throughout the month, Arms Wide Adoption Services will also celebrate families fulfilled by adoption from foster care.
According to the National Adoption Day website, more than 110,000 eligible children in the United States are currently awaiting an adoptive family, many of them holding an average three years in foster care before finding a family. On the flip side, some 23,000 children will actually age out of the foster care system each year, becoming legal adults who must face an uncertain future without the support or security of family.
“The matter of children aging out of the system is a real problem,” said Finley. “Statistically, these kids face tremendous odds. They often struggle to complete their educations and may face issues of homelessness and having children who in turn end up in the foster care system. One of our goals is to turn this tide by matching more kids with families who can guide them throughout their lives.”