Cathy Keck Adcock is one of four top blogger candidates hoping to join the momaha team. We’ll have blog posts from each of the finalists this week. Tell us what you think of Cathy’s post by leaving a comment at the end of this column or emailing email@example.com
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When fall arrives I think of family. This time of year has so many great memories — from pumpkin carving, Husker game watching, caramel apple making to costume building — for me and I always look forward to creating new ones with my husband and our three kids (photographed above).
But what if you are a kid without a family?
What if – instead of being excited and secure in your anticipation of fall traditions – you are hoping for a parent, a sibling, or a family?
Right now, more than 1,000 Nebraska children in the foster care system have those concerns. They are waiting for that family and those traditions.
The Omaha Great Pumpkin Tree family festival shines awareness on those children. On Oct. 27, people will gather at Village Pointe Shopping Center for a family festival with activities such as pumpkin carving. At 7 p.m., all of those carved pumpkins will be on display at a tree lighting ceremony that’ll represent the 1,033 Nebraska children waiting for a family.
When I tell folks that my husband and I are taking classes to become eligible to adopt from foster care, the reactions are varied. Some people are very excited, some are vaguely congratulatory, and some are just plain skeptical. Why wouldn’t they be skeptical? Nebraska has one of the largest percentages in the nation of children entering foster care each year. I would bet that we have a very small percentage of people who have real knowledge of the children or the process. I certainly didn’t.
In our journey, we were glad to learn that we would be partnering with knowledgeable people to become experts on how to integrate a child experiencing grief and loss into our family. We are working with our caseworker as a team to discover what type of child would be a great match for our family based on our strengths and the child’s needs. The goal is always to do what is in the best interest of the child.
Adoption is a fantastic way to make a difference and is probably one of the best gifts you could ever give a child or yourself – but it’s not the only way.
Fostering children, providing a break for full-time foster parents by becoming a respite foster parent, educating yourself and sharing with others are all paths that lead to impacting the lives of Nebraska’s children in foster care. And just in case you think you need to be the perfect parents to help foster children, let me assure you, none of us are perfect, and that is perfectly okay.
Think about the children in your life. They are funny, messy, goofy, smart, frustrating, loud, shy, surprising, exasperating, adorable, loving and beautiful. They are unique. The children in foster care are just as amazingly diverse. And they need us.
To learn more about becoming involved in the foster program, visit some of the Nebraska agencies below:
Nebraska Children’s Home, nchs.org
Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska, lfsneb.org
Cathy Keck Adcock works full time and is married with three kids — ages 9 to 14 — and hope to add a fourth through adoption. She authors the blog “Real Life With Kids.”
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We’ll have blog posts from each of the finalists this week. Make sure to read blog posts from our other candidates, including Lisa McFarland’s “Getting creative with discipline,” Chris Donnelly’s “Stop judging how large of family I have” and Tunette Powell’s “Romney, PBS: The price of a boy’s smile”.
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