See more about Anna at thepicmeproject.wordpress.com
Photo by Joan Brady
If you are lucky, you don't know what it's like to live in the precarious limbo that defines foster care in this country. A world where you go to sleep at night, not knowing if, in the morning, your social worker is going to show up and tell you that it's time to move, again. A world where each move is faced with the desperate hope that this new family will be the one who commits.
Not everyone is in a position or even interested in adoption. But anyone can help spread the word about specific children who are available for adoption. You could be the person who helps to connect a child to the family who will be there to support and cheer him/her on through life.
November is National Adoption Month. Consider that regionally, there are about 3,000 children in foster care. About 300 teenagers age-out of foster care from around our region without being adopted or reunited with family every year. Three hundred may sound like a small number, but that's 300 rudderless kids every year, dumped into society. (Sources: The Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS); The National Capital Region Annual Report on Foster Care by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, 2013.)
The Washington Metropolitan Council of Governments (COG) and I have teamed up to create The PicMe Project. Each child is featured in a one-minute slideshow that introduces his/her story. Leveraging social media to distribute the slideshows, we hope that someone will see each story and want to learn more.
To succeed, we need a network of people. People willing to take just a few moments each month to share each child's story with his/her own network through Facebook, Twitter, friends and family and religious and professional organizations. For just a few minutes every month, you might be the person who helps to connect a child to his/her forever family.
If you are interested in joining The PicMe Project network, contact Anne Havlovick: firstname.lastname@example.org
Joan Brady is a professional photographer; mentor and advocate for current and former foster children; volunteer with paws4People, Fairfax Families4Kids, and others; and a resident of Great Falls. Reach her at email@example.com