November was adoption month

Thursday, November 19, 2009
Surrounded by adoption workers and families of adoption, Mayor Jay Knudtson signed a Proclamation recognizing November as National Adoption Awareness Month. Standing from left: Evelyn Buessink Martin, Birth Parents Specialist with Lutheran Family and Children’s Services with Brenda Smith, Adoption Specialist at LFCS, Shari Stroup and daughter, Ella adopted from Guatemala, Linda Nash, Director of CASA, Linda Hodges, Missouri Children’s Division, Molly Strickland, Director of LFCS, Gail Ward, Missouri Children’s Division and Chantelle Becking and daughter, Solie, adopted from Ethiopia. Front row: Joe Stroup, adopted from Guatemala, and Mayor Knudtson. Shari Stroup, Chantelle Becking, and Shelly Nall (missing from photo) represent roomfor(ONEMORE), an organization encouraging and supporting people to become foster parents and to adopt domestically and internationally.

Four area groups joined together Celebrating Adoption on Saturday, November 7 at LaCroix Methodist Church, Cape Girardeau. Group sponsors were Lutheran Family and Children's Services, room for (ONEMORE), the local Children's Division, and CASA. Children were mesmerized by balloon artist, Sam, from Alotta Fun 4U2 Productions and enjoyed face painting by Donna from Alotta Fun 4U2 Productions. Family photos taken by Cheri Harris. Parents shared adoption experiences and encouraged those in attendance just starting the journey to move forward as it is a blessing and rewarding experience, for themselves and the children brought into their families.

On Tuesday, November 17 at 6:00 PM, LFCS will host an adoption information meeting at 3178 Blattner Dr., Cape Girardeau, Mo. 63703. This event is free and available to anyone who wants to learn more about the adoption process. A reservation is requested. For families who cannot attend this session, individual meetings can be arranged. Call 573-334-5866. In 2008, LFCS statewide placed 127 children ages birth to 18 into forever families through domestic and intercountry, as well as, contracts with the Children's Division. LFCS is a Hague approved not-for profit agency that provides intercountry adoption services.

You won't want to miss Adoption Story Time at Barnes and Noble in West Park Shopping Mall on Saturday, November 21 at 10:00 a.m. Take a photo with "Quacker" the LFCS fuzzy, feathered mascot. E-mail us your favorite adoption story at or bring your book to tell others about. You can also get information on LFCS adoption by picking up a brochure and information at the adoption book displays at Cape Public Library, 711 N. Clark Street and Jackson Riverside Regional Library, 1997 E. Jackson Blvd.

Just getting thinking about foster care or adoption, contact (room for) This independent not-for-profit organization's mission states that all children have the right to be loved, safe, fed, sheltered, healthy and educated. Their purpose is to create adoption awareness and offer financial support. Their concern and efforts are in response to the over 14 million children under the age of 15 who have lost one or both parents to AIDS!

In 2008, some 23,000 were in foster care through the Missouri Children's Division. Adoption placement into forever homes totaled 1077 with 633 were still waiting for adoption. Most of these children have special needs because of physical, mental, or emotional disabilities, because they must be placed in a sibling group, because they are of minority race, or because they are school age and older. Look closely at your family. Perhaps, you may be the forever home for one or more of these waiting children. More information on waiting children is available at The local Children's Division will begin training for foster and adoptive families soon. Call Linda Hodges at 573-290-5357 for more information or contact adoption worker, Kellee Foote, at the Children's Division, 573-290-5609.

Nationally, close to 500,000 children are in the foster care system. 134,000 are free for adoption. If 1 in 500 adults (0.2%) pursued and completed the adoption process, all 134,000 children who have a home. Consider adoption!

November, National Adoption Awareness Month! Celebrate Adoption!

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