A couple of years ago, a friend of ours took a call in the middle of a tennis match. It was the Office of Children’s Services telling her they had a young boy they hoped she would consider fostering. When she signed up to foster and went through the training and preparation, however, she and her then-9-year-old daughter decided they would love to have another girl in the family. As it turns out, that didn’t matter. Allen fits into the family as if he’d been there all along.
The circumstances of Allen’s life were the kind we read about. Nearly 2 years old, he didn’t talk and was covered in bruises. One among five children under 5 in his birth mother’s household, he likely survived by being quiet and keeping out of the way. Allen needed Jenn and Channing as much as they needed him. Her Franco’s coworkers, friends and family sprang into action and provided amazing support. We were lucky enough to fall in love with him ourselves at ISNS. He is a part of our family—his grandmother is Poki Hampton, our associate publisher.
Love can provide powerful healing, and Allen has flourished in his new home. In fact, the whole family is flourishing. In mid-September, Allen’s official adoption came through. This will be the best Thanksgiving ever!
Recognizing that not all foster families are as blessed as they have been, Allen’s family established Fostering Angels, a non-profit organization. The goal is to help foster families and their children take part in after-school activities and sports programs to build self-esteem and add to their sense of belonging. If you’d like to be a part of this heartwarming effort this holiday season, call Jenn Thompson at 985-373-8223 for more information. Their first fundraiser takes place December 1-4 at Franco’s Athletic Club. And, naturally, it is centered around a tennis tournament!