A Whirlwind of Change and Possibilities: Embracing the Adoption Journey

By Ben Lusz, Director of Events and Volunteers

The world is your oyster, enjoy the possibilities.

Matt and I were in our late 20s and invited to a wedding. It gave Matt an opportunity to meet my childhood friends, and for me to catch up on their travels and see who was building a family. The nuptials happened, and everyone moved onto the important part…the reception. During this reception, instead of joining our friends on the dance floor doing the chicken dance, we found ourselves hanging out with their children. Then that moment happened when Matt I looked at each other and decided our life of freedom and no children may not be our long-term plan…parenthood was on the way; we were expecting.

Continue reading


Telethon 2.0 – Fundraising in the Digital Age

By Ben Lusz, Director of Events and Volunteers

Telethon. Think about it.

Does your mind wander off to Jerry Lewis and his commitment to Muscular Dystrophy? Maybe variety show acts and people acting a fool?  Or the newer versions, rock stars doing a new twist on their big hit and performing in a marathon of concert performances.

40f7b3e0-f203-11e6-84e0-06c48d981e2fWell, The Adoption Exchange has stayed faithful to the traditional telethon. In Colorado, this annual fundraiser is known as A Day for Wednesday’s Child. We have a phone bank filled with generous sponsors and committed volunteers. CBS4 Denver diligently works with us to produce the best stories of the youth and families we serve and helps us to find the perfect incentives to encourage people to donate. Boondocks goes above and beyond by hosting adoptive families for a large celebration. All great, right?!

CBS4 Denver and The Adoption Exchange liked the benefits of this traditional model of increasing exposure for The Adoption Exchange and the children waiting in foster care, but we also wondered: What else could be done?

Continue reading

Celebrating Father’s Day

By Ben Lusz, Director of Events and Volunteers

According to eHow, Father’s Day was founded by Sonora Smart Dodd in 1909, who recommended celebrating your father by pampering him with what he wants. Ms. Dodd then dives into three example areas:

  • Providing Dad with a meal he will really enjoy (such as beer can chicken)
  • Taking Dad to an outing he has been discussing (such as a baseball game)
  • Setting Dad up with an opportunity to take on a skill or task he regrets not doing sooner (such as piano lessons)

***Warning the next paragraph is shameful organizational promotion***

The article is so insightful, you are even reminded to give a donation to your favorite non-profit if your father has passed. Gifts of yore include some sort of golf-related paraphernalia or even the actual activity. If you are golf-inclined, think of supporting The Adoption Exchange by participating in the Champions for Children Golf Classic on June 23, or Celebrate – the golf pre-party on June 22.

***Now back to my random thoughts on Father’s Day***

Several years ago I sat in a church service and listened to the female pastor explain that she really didn’t like the Mother’s Day sermon. She felt that your role in the family isn’t defined by your gender. A father can be as caring and nurturing a parent as the typical mother.   My partner and I sat there thinking someone outside of our bubble actually gets it. I was raised by a single woman and she was both the nurturer and the strict parent. When I am fortunate to be home and walk to the store on a week day, I see an equal number of fathers who appear to be stay-at-home parents as I do mothers. One could say the times are changing, or one could say we are finally willing to acknowledge everyone’s role is defined from within and what works for their specific family.

Continue reading

Feel Good: A Volunteer Benefit

By Ben Lusz, Director of Events and Volunteers

Volunteering feels great!

Receiving that request from an organization you support. Evaluating if you have the time and talent to fulfill the request. Taking that big step to commit to the request. Receiving the instructions for the moment. Showing up at the volunteer opportunity ready to give it your all. Then finishing with that “feel good” in your heart knowing that what you just did made life better for someone!

At The Adoption Exchange we are trying to build volunteer opportunities that give you those “feel good” moments.

Continue reading

A Day for Wednesday’s Child

By Ben Lusz, Director of Events and Volunteers

Celebrate [sel-uh-breyt] verb

Definition: To observe or commemorate with ceremonies of festivities

I have been with The Adoption Exchange for a few months and one of the best parts of working here is hearing the intercom make a beep followed by an announcement to all staff. This wonderful announcement includes the name of a youth, his or her interests, and wait for it….the announcement of their placement with an adoptive family! This announcement is followed by each staff member making noise, hooting, and CELEBRATING this happy moment of this new addition to a family.

Continue reading