Boys & Girls Aid

A personal story about adoption from foster care

As I shared with you in our last newsletter, I was born in January 1971 to a mother addicted to drugs. I was immediately placed into foster care and adopted 32 days later by the right parents—my parents. I was raised in one household with a loving and caring family.

Families are not perfect. They have their issues and baggage, but having my own family made a difference in becoming the person I am today. This is something I am more certain of now than ever before.

Since 1885, Boys & Girls Aid has worked to ensure every child has a family. We believe now, as we did then, children should be raised by families, not institutions. We know children growing up around people who provide love, stability and support will have better outcomes than children bouncing from home to home in the foster care system.

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Six siblings find their forever family after growing up in foster care

Tamilio family

Today, Angelica, 15, Maria, 14, Lupe, 12, Ramon, 9, Dalia, 7 and Vinnie, 3, live together as one family. They will grow up going to the same schools and will always know the bond of family. There was a time when this outcome seemed impossible.

The five oldest siblings entered foster care in 2009. The youngest, Vinnie, joined them soon after he was born. State officials determined that their birth family could no longer care for them.

Over the next six years, the siblings would be split up, reunited, adopted and sent back into foster care. All told, they would live in 40 different homes and spend a combined 12,570 days in foster care.

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Board president continues to support youth in foster care

Gabe Nachand recently rejoined the Boys & Girls Aid Board of Directors as Board Chair after taking a break for a few years. We sat down with him to learn more about why he’s passionate about helping youth in foster care and what he hopes to accomplish during his time on the board.

I met my wife Marina in 2006 and we’ve been married since 2008. We have a 13-year-old son and a 5-year-old daughter named Mira, and we live in Happy Valley. Yes – it is happy there. I officially adopted my son in 2011 and we changed his middle and last name at that time. He has since decided to go by his middle name (Gabriel), so we now have two people going by “Gabe” in the house – which is definitely taking some time to get used to.

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Isabella gives up her birthday presents to give back to children in foster care

When it came time for Isabella to celebrate her 12th birthday this year, she decided that she did not want gifts. She doesn’t enjoy opening presents in front of people, and she feels that there is nothing that she really wants or needs. When this thoughtful young girl approached her mom with the idea of donating to someone in need in lieu of gifts, they began brainstorming who they could help.

Isabella’s mom, Sarah Perez, has learned about the challenges local kids in foster care face through her college professors. Youth in foster care often struggle in school due to multiple moves and stress in their home lives. When her mom told her about foster youth, Isabella decided to them because she felt kids in foster care were not living the life they wanted. 

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Circle H Woodcraft believes every child in foster care deserves a family

Boys & Girls Aid Gala of Trees

Circle H Woodcraft were a sponsor of our 2016 Gala of Trees held in Salem. We recently spoke with owner Brooklynn Hatchell to find out how they got involved in this event.

I first became involved with Boys & Girls Aid in 2005 when my former employer introduced me to this organization. I was impressed by how genuinely invested they were in the enrichment of the lives of children and families. Since then, I’ve held various positions on the Gala of Trees committee, including planning logistics for the event, decorating and tree delivery.

When the opportunity to run our own business came to fruition, it made sense to make a bigger impact by becoming a sponsor of the Gala of Trees. We continue to be involved with Boys & Girls Aid for the same reason I started with the organization: for the enrichment and betterment of the lives of children in foster care.

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