Boys & Girls Aid

Connor’s adoption story

Duane and Nicole expanded their family through foster care adoption. Nearly a year later, they tell us about the experience and how it has changed their lives.

 

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Why we don’t keep our daughters artwork

Biys & Girls Aid Benisch family

Erica Benisch adopted her daughters Jayda and Makenna from foster care in 2015. She shares why adopting from foster care is important and how she is using her daughter’s artwork to raise awareness for kids currently in Oregon’s foster care system.

After Jayda and Makenna came to live with us, I came across a box of my childhood papers. This box had been moved and stored at least four times in my adult life.  However, I never really looked at the contents, I had just dragged the box around my entire adult life. When I finally looked at the box in the fall of 2014, I realized it was papers and art without dates and without notes or reasons for keeping it. I wanted to make sure Jayda and Makenna knew why I kept their childhood art and I didn’t just want to throw it away without honoring their effort.

Giving back and volunteering has always been a part of my life and I wanted that for Jayda and Makenna too. I wanted them to be part of something bigger. That’s when I realized I had an answer for their art - I want to have an art show to honor their work and fundraise to give back.

Jayda was in Foster Care 1669 days. Makenna was in Foster Care 1519 days.  As of Aug 11th, they have lived with us for 751 days.

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Johnny and MaKenzie are waiting to be adopted

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How we are stopping the movement of children in foster care

In March 2013, Mae entered foster care. Her parents were regularly using drugs. At the age of 5, she was being neglected on a daily basis.

Rather than finding stability in foster care, she proceeded to move between seven different homes over a three year period. Her longest stay in one home amounted to less than a year. By the time Mae came to Boys & Girls Aid, she was yearning for a family of her own.

Moving is tough. A move can mean leaving behind the places we know and the people we love. For children, a move can be life-altering. With each move, they lose their friends, their teachers and their roots. For those of us who moved as children, or lost friends to a move, it’s an experience we never forget.

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Finding a path out of the foster care system

When a family has their parental rights terminated, children are at-risk of staying in foster care permanently and never finding a family. Our approach ensures every child moves beyond past abuse and neglect to find their forever family. We first seek out extended family and friends. If we can’t find next of kin, then we look for adoptive families who can meet the needs of a specific child. Our efforts lead to a much better outcome for all children at-risk of growing up in foster care.

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