Twenty-five years ago, Janice Goldwater had a vision. As a social worker in Montgomery County, Goldwater saw the need for an organization to find adoptive families for hard-to-place children. She founded Adoptions Together (AT) to conquer the challenge of finding permanent homes for children regardless of their age, race or health issues. The motto of her organization is “Every child, every family, and every step of the way.”
Goldwater will be recognized on Saturday, Oct. 3 at the 8th annual Taste in Potomac for her dedication to making her dream a reality that has changed the lives of more than 6,000 children and their families. This tasting event features dining samples from scores of restaurants in Potomac and Montgomery County, fine wines donated by Total Wine, silent and live auctions, music by Exclusively Entertainment and the opportunity to support Adoptions Together. The evening will held at the Julia Bindeman Suburban Center in Potomac from 7 p.m. to midnight.
Emcee for the evening will be Larry Smith, morning news anchor at WJLA-ABC. Atlantic Valet will provide valet services, Booz-Allen and Zori Studios have teamed up to create an informative video and the Heart Gallery will be featured. The Heart Gallery displays photos of older children who are hoping to be adopted. The gallery is shown in public facilities, such as libraries, Children’s National Medical Center and high-traffic buildings and many of the same children are featured on Wednesday’s Child. Sponsors for the evening include the Collins Investment Group, M&T Bank, Yasmin Abadian Real Estate Group and many more.
Some of the restaurants that will be in attendance are Old Angler’s Inn, Hunter’s Inn, Tally Ho, Season’s 52, The Market at River Falls, The Tavern at River Falls, Potomac Grocer, Cava Restaurant Group, Stella Barra Pizzeria, Gregorio’s Trattoria, Summer House, The Grilled Oyster and more. Restaurant certificates from each of these restaurants will be featured in the Silent Auction along with theatre and sports tickets, opportunities for travel, wine tastings and even tickets to the Dr. Phil and Wheel of Fortune TV shows. The Live Auction will be diverse – from designer earrings by Anthony Camargo, to travel, to a family oil painting.
When asked how she founded AT, Goldwater said, “When I was in graduate school, we were taught, ‘don’t sit back and complain — take action. When I began working as a social worker in the adoption community, I saw huge gaps in the system and the large numbers of children who were difficult to place in a forever family. The message from grad school resonated so clearly in my mind and my body and I was annoyed and angry. My third child was just a baby, but I worked in my kitchen to get a license to start AT. I am so proud that, 25 years later, we have lots of well-supported community members, parent with full hearts as they love and nurture their adopted children and birth parents who know their child is growing up in a loving and caring family.’”
Goldwater serves as executive director of AT. The nonprofit has changed from its early beginnings to a provider of the many services that make an adoption successful, including counseling and support services before, during and after adoption, training for mental health and education professionals, crisis intervention, support groups and more.
One of their goals for this year will be to focus on older youth who are currently in foster care. “Even though they have not been formally adopted,” Goldwater said, “we are working to connect youths to a permanent family. They exit the foster care program at 21, and we are trying to give them a safety net — a concerned family who will advise when there are problems and celebrate their achievements; someone to invite them to holidays and celebrate their birthday.”
She continued: “Turning 25 is an incredible gift. And to know that we have helped create real families is so meaningful. An adoption was just completed for an 18-year-old who will be graduating in June. He was so thrilled to know that now he has a family who will be cheering him at his graduation.”
To attend this event, register for tickets at www.adoptionstogether.org/TasteinPotomac.aspx
or email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 301-439-2900. Donations are also accepted through its website.