Making Connections for Youth in Foster Care

By Courtney Lake, Development and Communications Coordinator

Aging out of foster care is a terrifying reality that more than 20,000 youth face every year. Not only do these 18 year-olds lack a family, many enter the real world without the skills to make it on their own, and worse, without a single connection to look to for guidance and support.

In 2015, NPR shared Jasmine Uqdah’s story. A bright teen, Jasmine aged out of the foster care system with a plan. She was accepted to college and was motivated to succeed. But like so many youth who age out of the foster care system, the odds were stacked against her and there was no one around to guide her.

“Uqdah says that trying to balance school, a part-time job, money, and life all on her own became overwhelming. So she dropped out after two semesters — already more than $15,000 in debt — and took a second job as a meat slicer at a Detroit market.”

No young person should have to take on the world alone like Jasmine did. In her own words:

“Every 18- and 19-year-old thinks they’re ready, but you’re not. You’re not ready for shutoff notices. You’re not ready for eviction notices. You’re not ready for car repossessions.”

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Tim Wieland Awarded with 2016 Adoption Excellence Award

By Courtney Lake, Development and Communications Coordinator

Each year, the United States Children’s Bureau honors leading organizations, families, and individuals with the Adoption Excellence Awards. The goal of these awards is to “recognize outstanding accomplishments in achieving permanency for America’s children waiting in foster care.”

The Adoption Exchange is incredibly proud to announce that this year our very own Tim Wieland has been honored with the Award for Excellence in Media/Social Media/Public Awareness of Adoption from Foster Care.

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Wednesday’s Children: Then and Now

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 VolunteerMatch.org 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.” Continue reading