By Staff –
Children Awaiting Parents is a national non-profit that recruits adoptive families for children in foster care, and the organization has recently created the Donald J. Corbett Adoption Agency, in an effort to expedite the adoption process for older foster kids.
The 45-year-old group is headquartered in Rochester, and, according to board fundraising chair Sandra Frankel, CAP has added the new agency to its services in an effort to help foster kids find their “forever families.”
“We know from research that there is a much higher likelihood that, when children age out of foster care, their success in life is not nearly as positive as if they are in a forever family,” Frankel said. “And so, the future of this generation of kids who we can place in permanent homes, and loving homes, really will make a difference for them as individuals, and also for the cost of society.”
There are about 120,000 foster kids who are in need of permanent homes nationally, and that number has disproportionately affected minorities, as well as children who range in age from 13 to 16.
As a result, CAP community outreach specialist Veronica Black, and board chair Barbara Baer, have each adopted foster children into their homes and families, as part of the push to help address the need locally.
Black currently has three adopted children, as well as one biological child, and Baer’s two adopted sons are now adults.
According to both women, their decisions to adopt have impacted their lives for the better.
“I would not change it for anything in the world,” Black said. “It was the best thing that I have ever done. They still struggle. They have their struggles. But, they know that they’re safe, and they know that they have a family. And, that’s the number one thing. All I can do is wish that other people would step forward, and take that journey.”
“I would do it again in a second,” Baer added. “My boys are 28 and 35, and I am blessed with them. And, I’m still learning from them. They certainly enrich my life, and I’m a better person for it.”
The adoption process can be daunting for most prospective parents, and, according to Frankel, CAP’s goal is to help parents navigate its complexity, as well as to provide additional resources and support for parents who may decide to adopt.
“We don’t have enough families, and I understand why; because people are afraid,” she stated. “They’re afraid of the unknown. But, I like to tell them it’s ok to be afraid. We help you identify your strengths, and your weaknesses.”
CAP has recently launched a $250,000 fundraising campaign, in order to sustain its operating costs, and Black will also be featured in an upcoming episode of CBS’ annual “A Home for the Holidays ” special, as one of four adoption families across the U.S.
“We’re very excited about Veronica’s part in the “A Home for the Holidays” special,” Frankel said. “Her family is one of four in the country who are being featured. She’s got a great message to convey, and a wonderful story. Really, it’s an honor for Children Awaiting Parents.”
The network will air the episode on Dec. 19, at 8 p.m.
CAP currently holds adoption information meetings on the second and last Tuesdays of each month, and interested individuals may also contact the organization to schedule walk-in appointments.
CAP is also currently seeking volunteers, as well as donations.
The organization has reached about 50 percent of its fundraising goal so far.
Visit http://www.capbook.org/ for additional information regarding the group.