ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Children Awaiting Parents wants to raise awareness about children waiting to be adopted with a new community challenge.
“Foster to Forever: CAP Challenge for the 125 Thousand” seeks to get as many people as possible to collectively log at least 125,000 miles – one mile for each child currently in Foster Care in the U.S.
Children Awaiting Parents Executive Director Laurie McKnight explained the idea behind the challenge Thursday during News 8 at Noon.
“The challenge is actually like an awareness campaign,” she said. “When we were looking at the numbers that we see across the country for children who are waiting for their adoptive families or for a forever family we recognized that 125,000 kids are still waiting. We decided as a team here at Children Awaiting Parents that we should create a challenge and it would be much like all of those challenges you see posted all over the community — run a hundred miles for mental health or for cancer — and we thought about maybe we as a team and engaging the communities across New York State at the community could try to achieve 125,000 miles to represent the number of kids waiting for their forever family.”
Heather Henry and her husband Bobby know first-hand the joy that comes with adopting a child. In fact, they chose to adopt two children. “My husband Bobby and I adopted our two children in October of 2018,” she said. “We have a son and a daughter, Shane, and Mariana. They were adopted out of Foster Care right here in New York State. We couldn’t be happier as a family of four! It’s amazing to me how in the beginning of the process we, of course, were like any other parent or family considering adoption. We were nervous. We were scared. We were wondering if we’d be able to do this, or if the children would have too many needs. I think there’s a stigma. People think, oh these kids come with too many issues and too much baggage, but the truth is, is that they’re just kids and they just need a family. If I’m afraid as an adult to adopt a child, how afraid is that child who doesn’t have a home? One hundred and twenty-five thousand children need homes and there are families out there who will say – well, maybe I could do it but I don’t know. There are always three or four excuses but there are 125,000 reasons to consider adopting out of Foster Care.”
McKnight said, “Heather’s story really compels us to want the whole country to know what can really transpire when you take children in – there’s a great need and that it can work and it can be successful. We are still under 5,000 miles at this point and so we know there are a lot of people doing way more activity than that, so we’d love for everyone to join us and log on as a tribute to those kids and to create awareness that they need families.”
To get involved with the challenge and to learn more about adoption visit childrenawaitingparents.org.