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Why We Don't Keep our Daughters' Artwork

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  Written by Boys & Girls Aid on 21 Oct 2016

Our daughters Jayda and Makenna spent a combined 3,188 days in foster care before we became a family. Shortly after they moved in, I came across a box of my childhood papers. It had been moved and stored at least four times in my adult life, but I had never really looked at the contents. When I finally looked inside, I realized it was papers and art without dates, 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. That’s when I realized I had an answer for their art.

Giving back and volunteering have 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.  We could host an art show to honor their work and fundraise for a charity to be part of something bigger.

On the day of our art show, I was really thrilled to have such a great turn out and to see all of the love and support from my family and friends. I was proud to tell our story and share how Boys & Girls Aid has spent 131 years of serving children in Oregon – that says a lot. Our first art show raised over $1,100. Jayda and Makenna presented their big check to Boys & Girls Aid on their adoption day. It was very special.

This year we raised $1,500 and grew our awareness base, which was really important to me. More people need to have an awareness of children in foster care and the positive impact of having a permanent lifelong connection. My goal is to make this an annual tradition in our home, but my vision is to spread this across Oregon communities, one adoptive home at a time. 

As of Aug 11, 2016 Jayda and Makenna have lived with us for 751 days. Our girls are growing and learning very quickly. Jayda is tenacious and so curious. She is into everything and wants to know how it works. In two years she has made great strides in her development and trust of people. She does all of the right things when we are not around at school, camp and friends’ houses.

Makenna is a very intuitive girl who remembers everything. She says the funniest things with great timing. In January when we were on vacation in Costa Rica, Mario and I decided to go out to dinner alone. When we announced we were going to dinner without them Makenna asked why. We explained it had been a long time since just the two of us had gone to dinner together. Without missing a beat, Makenna replied, “You had time to yourselves before we moved in.”

I hope to provide my daughters with stability as they grow. All children need support and tools for their toolbox, which they receive at birth from their biological family. Unfortunately, children from foster care typically haven’t learned many life skills to help them be successful. All children deserve a chance, and financial support from individual donors helps make this possible. I want to make sure everyone I know learns a little bit more about children in foster care. 




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