Growing Families Through Adoption
Tuesday, Mar 10, 2009
BRINGING ADOPTIVE FAMILIES AND WAITING CHILDREN TOGETHER
Project STAR at The Children’s Institute Hosts Third Annual Growing Families Through Adoption Matching and Adoption Awareness Event
March 10, 2009—Pittsburgh, PA— This week staff and volunteers at The Children’s Institute are getting ready to play the matching game. But you don’t need a deck of cards to join the excitement – all you need is an open heart and home. Because these are family matches. Project STAR at The Children’s Institute will host the third annual Growing Families Through Adoption, a matching and adoption awareness event, on Thursday, March 12 at their Squirrel Hill campus. The event will be held from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. At the event, representatives from adoption agencies throughout the state match Pennsylvania’s waiting children with families who are ready to give them safe, loving, permanent homes.
Growing Families Through Adoption allows county agency workers to present information about children who are available for adoption. Families and adoption specialists at various agencies can peruse the information and ask questions of the agency workers. Growing Families Through Adoption is an example of Project STAR’s ongoing mission and dedication to meeting the specialized needs of all children in the region through foster and adoptive services — increasing their chances of finding permanent homes.
“This event is a way for families to learn more about and experience the adoption community,” says Bethany Leas, event coordinator. “If there are individuals who are interested in finding out more about how the adoption process works, or want to hear about children who are waiting, this event is a great one to attend.”
Venice and Ryan Chester of Wilkinsburg first heard about Growing Families Through Adoption last month when they received a flyer in the mail from Project STAR. Venice explains, “The event sounded great to us. We want to attend Growing Families Through Adoption to learn more about possible resources for our adopted children, hear from other parents about their experiences and share our own as foster-to-adopt parents. We’re also open to fostering another child and thought this would be a great way to find information.” The Chester family is full of love and large by anyone’s standards with six children, three of whom were adopted through Project STAR.
Venice and Ryan Chester will join more than 40 other families expected to attend the event this Thursday, March 12, at The Children’s Institute.
To date, 19 successful family matches have been made as a result of the first two Growing Families Through Adoption events, held in 2007 and 2008. Patricia Saunders-Madison, PhD, director of Project STAR, says, “Knowing that 19 families have been united because of this event makes me realize that the work we’ve been doing is so worthwhile. The smile I see on a child’s face who now has a family, that sense of completeness in his eyes, says it all.”
To increase awareness of the nearly 900 children in Pennsylvania currently waiting for permanent homes, Growing Families Through Adoption includes exhibits by the Pennsylvania Heart Gallery and Pittsburgh Heart Gallery. The Pittsburgh Heart Gallery features professional portraits of waiting children in this area, while the Pennsylvania Heart Gallery highlights waiting children from all over the state. Pittsburgh, however, is well represented in the Pennsylvania Heart Gallery with a total of 21 waiting children residing in our region. The Pennsylvania Heart Gallery portraits will be on display at The Children’s Institute through March 19, and the Pittsburgh Heart Gallery portraits will remain until the end of the month. Representatives from the Pennsylvania Adoption Exchange will be at the event on March 12 to answer questions about the waiting children featured in the Pennsylvania heart Gallery portraits and on their Website.
Growing Families Through Adoption is free and open to the public. RSVP by calling 1.877.433.1109 and selecting option seven. For more information, please call Bethany Leas at 412.244.3075.