By Courtney Lake, Development and Communications Coordinator

Each week, The Adoption Exchange partners with local news stations to feature a child or sibling group in need of an adoptive family in a Wednesday’s Child segment. You can view these features on CBS4 KCNC in Denver, KLAS in Las Vegas, or KSL5 in Salt Lake City.

Recently, we’ve heard inspiring stories from former Wednesday’s Children, now adults, whose experience with The Adoption Exchange has come full circle.

On May 7th, Geek’d Out Events hosted their annual May the Fourth Be With You 5K Race benefiting The Adoption Exchange. We supported the event by providing volunteers. Since the event was so large, we posted on in hopes of bringing brand new volunteers to the event.

On the day of the event, one of those new volunteers seemed familiar to Lindsay Kaeding, Utah Director of Development. Lindsay said that when the volunteer walked up “I immediately felt like I knew her from somewhere. After talking awhile she said that this was a great event to help with since she had been in foster care most of her life.”

Lindsay, who has worked at The Adoption Exchange for 15 years, suddenly remembered a Wednesday’s Child Feature from 2005 about a girl named Jacoyia who loved animals, singing, and snowboarding. That teenager, featured over 10 years ago, was now an adult volunteering her time to support other children in foster care.

Jacoyia ended up aging out of foster care at 18 and she is now 24. She is graduating with her Associate’s Degree and wants to start at the University of Utah in the Social Work program. After connecting with Lindsay, Jacoyia is now in the process of applying for an internship with The Adoption Exchange and hopes to be able to give back even more to children waiting in foster care.

In April, the Wednesday’s Child Connection Guild held a 50/50 Raffle to raise funds for The Adoption Exchange. The income from all ticket sales was to be split evenly between The Adoption Exchange and one lucky winner chosen at random.

The winner of the raffle was announced on April 6th during The Adoption Exchange’s A Day For Wednesday’s Child telethon. The telethon is an annual, day-long event focusing on Wednesday’s Children including features of available youth, family success stories, the work of The Adoption Exchange, and a celebration of adoptive families.

When we called the raffle winner, Anna, we learned about the most amazing and unexpected coincidence: Anna was a former Wednesday’s Child herself. Now an adult, Anna bought one raffle ticket to support The Adoption Exchange’s mission and help waiting children. We were so excited to hear Anna’s story and to split the raffle proceeds with such a deserving winner.

We at The Adoption Exchange are overjoyed when we hear these types of stories. We believe that every child deserves a family and diligently work to support children and families before, during, and after the adoption process. Stories like Jacoyia’s and Anna’s remind us that Wednesday’s Children, and all of the children we serve, are permanent members of The Adoption Exchange family.

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