Because every child needs a family, and every child deserves a chance to thrive.
Your gift to Children’s Home during our Little Red Stocking campaign helps unite children with loving, nurturing families through adoption. It ensures that people touched by adoption receive ongoing post adoption support throughout their lives. And, because we began licensing and educating foster homes in May, it helps children facing out-of-home placement find safe, caring homes during times of uncertainty.
This year, thanks to a generous family, your gift will have twice the impact. Your gift will
be matched dollar for dollar up to $20,000 from the estate of Elmer and Eleanor Andersen.
During her lifetime, Eleanor, a long-time Children’s Home board member, had a deep passion to create loving families through adoption. We know you share her same passion.
8-year-old Jonah and 11-year-old Isaac look forward to attending Adoption Day Camp one week every summer. They canoe, swim and play games to develop team-building skills. They and their fellow campers, some years numbering as many as 100, also gain self-esteem, become more secure in their identity as adoptees and learn critical tools to use when faced with questions, teasing or unexpected comments. They have also come to appreciate that not all families look alike.
Jonah and Isaac’s mom, Tasha, recognizes the camp’s value because she could have used similar skills growing up. Like Isaac and Jonah, and her 2-year-old daughter, Chloe, Tasha was adopted from Korea through Children’s Home. She learned about our organization’s support for adoptees as a volunteer during college.
“Being raised by parents who are of a different race than your own can have its challenges,” she explained. “I had a lot of questions and concerns I was not always able to articulate.”
She came to peace with questions around her identity, origin and abandonment through years of reflection and soul searching. After she met her husband Peter in college, he also helped her reconcile her emotions, which gave him insights into the complexities of adoption and being a person of color.
Tasha always had a heart to adopt, long before she and Peter married in 2001. Adopting from Korea through Children’s Home seemed like the obvious choice as it allowed her to share her heritage with their kids. This commonality has helped reduce the questions of strangers, which Tasha hopes will help her children as they grow to understand their journeys as adoptees.
“Adoption is what made us a family. As we continue this journey, it will define and shape who we are as a family and as individuals.”
“There were growing pains with the addition of each child,” Peter recalled. There were long months while Chloe learned to trust Peter, despite the couple consistently demonstrating their love. Their Christian faith, the community of adoptive families within their church, and Children’s Home post adoption services and advice grounded them through the challenging times.
Today, Peter, Tasha and their three kids have a healthy familial rhythm, carving out undistracted time for evening meals, enjoying weekends at the grandparents’ lake home and having regular game nights. Isaac and Jonah are both brothers and friends, sharing many of the same interests: playing and watching soccer, hockey and baseball; reading; and school STEM programs. The boys love being older brothers to Chloe. Chloe shares the sentiment. Her favorite Korean word is “oppa,” which means big brother.
3-year-old Raymani and 5-year-old Jesse still talk about Dec. 14, 2017. It was “Big Brother Day,” a day when Jesse showed his new little brother how to build toys at Build-a-Bear and they went to lunch at Noodles & Co. with their moms and 7-year-old sister, Railyn.
Raymani had always been wary of the social workers, who had been in his life since shortly after his birth. All except Sheena, who oversaw his care with the foster family with whom he was placed when he was just 7 months old. Rather than cry or shy away when she visited, he greeted her with hugs and smiles, and cried when she left. For one year, she gained insight into his personality, behavioral dynamics and family of origin while the county worked to permanently place him with biological family.
When it became clear that neither Raymani’s biological family nor his foster family could adopt him, Sheena and her fiancée at the time, Tyrai, welcomed the opportunity to bring him into their family.
“He stole my heart from day one,” Sheena said. “I told Tyrai we’ll never know more about a kid prior to adopting.” They were intent on keeping the birth order of their kids intact. They knew it would be hard for them to find a child younger than Jesse who needed a family.
“I was a little nervous” Tyrai recalled of their first visit. “The more time we spent together, the more we connected! He is such a kind, loving person.” She was impressed by his resilience and ability to maintain a sweet demeanor.
The couple had planned to adopt someday and had begun the licensing process with Children’s Home when it became clear that Raymani needed an adoptive family. When they expressed interest with the county, another social worker assumed oversight of Raymani’s care and his foster family from Sheena to prevent a conflict of interest.
Raymani has thrived since moving into his forever home. He gets undivided attention from “mommy” and “momma” while his siblings, Tyrai’s biological children, are with their father every other week. The solo attention from his parents has helped him expand his communications skills from only a few words and pointing. Today, he’s a well-spoken, inquisitive little chatterbox.
He has also become the “Incredible Hulk,” assuming his superhero persona alongside those of his family members: Sheena is Wonder Woman, Tyrai Superwoman, Railyn Batgirl and Jesse Spiderman. They often wear their respective t-shirts and capes and use their make-believe super powers to overcome challenges they each may be facing. Raymani’s not-so-make-believe super power? Winning hearts and changing lives.
How Your Gift helps children thrive
Your contribution to the Little Red Stocking campaign has a life-changing impact on children and families. Here are just a few examples of how your gift helps Children’s Home address the greatest needs:
$25 helps a child join a family and provides lifelong post adoption support to adoptees and their families.
$50 covers the small fees that a family would incur when becoming licensed to become a foster home.
$125 helps adoptees, birth parents and adoptive parents connect through a number of support groups throughout the year.
$250 sends a child to Adoption Day Camp, where she can make friends who understand exactly what it’s like to be adopted.
$400 facilitates an adoptee’s search for urgent medical background information.
$1,000 connects a teen with a family that will provide a safe and permanent home before he ages out of foster care.
$2,500 provides an adoption grant that helps an older child, a sibling group, or a child with an identified need join a nurturing family.
Thanks to your generosity, the Little Red Stocking campaign has been helping children in our community since 1909. Your gift in any amount makes a difference!