Thursday, February 28, 2013


Today's guest blogger is our Wendy's Wonderful Kids Recruiter, Melanie Schmidt. She'll be chatting about one of her waiting youth, Cris'tiana, a horse-lover with a big heart.

Cris'tiana is a sweet, sensitive young lady who craves permanence. When I met with her last week to take this video, she was her usual bubbly, fun self. Even though she loves life and spending time with the horses at her foster home, she quickly saddens at the thought of how long she has waited to find a permanent family.
Cris'tiana enjoying her photo shoot!
She has been in foster care for far too long and sometimes feels that adoption will never happen for her. She is young at heart and would love a family that could nurture her and provide her with the love and commitment she missed out on during her childhood, while supporting her to reach her full potential.
Cris'tiana and the awesome smile she generously shares with the people in her town.
Cris'tiana rarely meets a person she doesn’t like. Taking her out to lunch in town, Cris'tiana knows many people she passes by name and it seems like everyone has a soft spot in their heart for her. She is very friendly and will start a conversation with just about anyone. She wants to please others and she loves being around small children. She hopes to work with animals or children in the future.

Click here to inquire on Cris'tiana through our website or to watch her video.

Cris'tiana is only ONE of over 100,000 youth who are waiting for a permanent home. Please contact or call us at 888-835-8802 to learn more about Cris'tiana or other youth who are available and waiting...

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


Today's guest blogger is our Wendy's Wonderful Kids Recruiter, Melanie Schmidt. She'll be chatting about one of her waiting youth, Steven, a sweet young man from upstate New York.

Last week, Steven traveled 2.5 hours to come to Rochester to have his Friday’s Child video taken and to participate in a family matching event where he was able to meet and interact with families who are looking to adopt older children.

It was a long day for him; he started traveling at 12:30pm and did not get home until about 10pm! I was so impressed by Steven’s happy and positive attitude during the video and match event- two activities that can produce anxiety for children who very much want a family. Steven was not nervous at all - he seemed completely comfortable and enthusiastically interacted with every family who came to the event. He very much wants to find a family and is willing to put himself out there and work hard to meet the family that is right for him.

Photo courtesy of Studio di Luce

You can see in Steven's Friday's Child video that he hopes for a pet alligator because "they roll around and wrestle and that would be fun to do that with an alligator!" He is a friendly child who can easily start a conversation with just about anyone. He enjoys talking about his many interests like animals, movies and technology. He is looking for an active family who can have fun!

Click here to inquire on Steven through our website or to watch his other video.

Steven is only ONE of over 100,000 youth who are waiting for a permanent home. Please contact or call us at 888-835-8802 to learn more about Steven or other youth who are available and waiting...

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


Look at this cute story that Kate, our marketing specialist, found online. She posted last night and when I came into work this morning, the same story was all over the internet.

Photo courtesy of

So many of our children grow up with only a handful of photographs from their childhood. Those children who are in residential treatment facilities have even less. Veronica, our community outreach specialist, doesn't have any photos of her son Lennon as a newborn and it breaks my heart to hear stories about him having to bring in a newborn photo for a project at school. I've seen mangled photos of birth family saved in the address books of children I work with and yet they don't usually have a photo of themselves from when they were a child. And if they did, there's a great chance they'll get lost during one of the many moves they will need to make before they find permanency (if they do find permanency).

There are so many sad things about this field and if there is something that makes a child feel positive and loved and gets them to maybe even laugh a little, I think it's a beautiful thing.

Thursday, February 14, 2013


So in some of my adoption internet travels, I stumbled upon this great website called Empowered to Connect. They have free online videos you can watch called, "What Every Adoptive Parent Should Know." The videos address fear, giving a voice to children, parenting strategies - just to name a few. We haven't watched all of them but the few we took a peek at seemed really informative!

Empowered to Connect also has a DVD you can purchase. The DVD consists of eight short video sessions covering some of the basics that every adoptive and foster parent needs to know.

Purchase the DVD here:

  1. Children from Hard Places
  2. Focusing on the Whole Child
  3. Looking at Ourselves to Help Our Children Heal
  4. The Impact of Fear
  5. The Importance of Giving Voice to Children
  6. Understanding Sensory Processing
  7. Parenting Strategies that Connect
  8. The IDEAL Response for Parents

Monday, February 11, 2013


In light of our photo contest that is going on right now, I have been scouring one of my favorite time-wasting websites for some great inspiration to all you budding (and professional!) photographers out there. This one's a classic but you can see more on our Facebook page.

Photo courtesy of

You can enter your photo(s) for a chance to win prizes and have your photo seen by thousands on display at the Greater Rochester International Airport for one month. The other great part? Proceeds go to Children Awaiting Parents, a national non-profit that helps kids in foster care who have waited the longest for their forever families.

Term: 2013 Family Photo Contest begins Monday, January 14th and ends Thursday, February 14, 2013 at midnight (EST).

How to enter:

Submit your high-resolution photo(s) under the theme, “What Family Means to Me,” and send to High quality scans of non-digital photos are acceptable. We will accept photos in .jpeg, .jpg or .png format. If files submitted are larger than 5MB, please send using Please make sure photos are suitable for family viewing.

Categories & Cost: (per entry)

• Professional ($20) • College Student ($15)
• Adult amateur ($20) • Scholastic ($15)

Please submit payment online at checks can be mailed to:

Children Awaiting Parents, Inc.
Attn.: David Carsel
274 N. Goodman St., Suite D103
Rochester, NY 14607
(888)835-8802 • (585)232-5110

Once payment is received, we will upload your photo to our public Flickr account where all entries can be viewed.

Entry deadline: Thursday, February 14th at midnight EST

Award Celebration Reception:

Wednesday, February 27th @ Studio 180 - 6:30 pm
Photographs will be judged by our panel, which includes professional photographers, and be announced at the award celebration reception.


• Digitally enhanced photos will not be accepted with the exception of minor adjustments
• Photos that have won another contest are not eligible

By submitting these photos, the photographer is granting Children Awaiting Parents a royalty-free, perpetual license to use the photos.

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Monday, February 4, 2013


Photo courtesy of
Opened up an email from a friend at a neighboring agency and found this article. Check it out. Lots of great information on childhood trauma and its effect on healthy development.

Do you have an article or information you'd like to share with our families and other adoption professionals, via our blog? Email me at