A beautiful and sunny Oregon afternoon wouldn’t keep three churches from gathering to put together diaper bags for babies coming into care. Volunteers from Damascus Community Church, Good Shepherd Community Church, and Gresham Bible Church met with a goal of assembling 50 diaper bags for the Gresham and N. Clackamas Child Welfare Office.
As three vans full of items pulled up to Good Shepherd Community Church, volunteers started unloading item after item. Only Wednesday, had the final items needed for 50 bags been donated. The organizers knew the event was God ordained as donations kept coming in even up to the time the event started.
Embrace Oregon was chosen as an honored community partner and presented the "Champions for Children" award at the Child Abuse and Neglect Summit.
Embrace Oregon was nominated by Clackamas DHS for our work in creating spaces that communicate dignity, worth and value for children in foster care and our renovations of the Child Welfare offices.
If you are one of the 3,000 community members who have stepped inside a DHS Child Welfare office in the last 3 years, this one is for you.
We are all Embrace Oregon.
This is our community.
These are our children.
"But what about your bio kids?"
It’s a fair and honest question and one I get asked frequently when asked about our family’s engagement with foster care.
Here’s one of the responses I share:
Last year my daughter, Sophia, was in 3rd grade. As I was going through the many papers in her take home folder from school (and truthfully doing some very liberal recycling) an essay on bright blue construction paper caught my eye.
It had a photo of Martin Luther King Jr. that she had cut out and colored and in the top it said “I HAVE A DREAM”. Sophia in her best 9 year old handwriting wrote the following:
"I have a dream that one day every kid in foster care will have a welcome box and a super nice foster family! I have a dream that kids who are scared in foster care will have families who are kind to them and not mean. I have a dream that kids in foster care will feel safe”.
As I was sitting at the dental office the other day, I saw yet another magazine cover of the Royal Family’s kids. It seems like their adorable faces grace the cover of our magazines every other week.
Last week for 24 hours as a shelter foster care family, we had the privilege of welcoming two little ones under the age 3 who had been left with panhandlers in downtown Portland. And when I welcomed them in through my front door, I said to my husband, “These kids are stunningly beautiful - like cover of a magazine type beautiful!” They were also sweet.