Brooke M. Birkey, Director of Client Services
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Director of Client Services

CCAI IS ONE OF OUR FAVORITE LOCAL ORGANIZATIONS

CCAInstitute.org/programs/view/angels-in-adoption-impact

One thing I love best is the adoption cause. While not formally adopted, I went through something when I was 17 that forever changed my perspective on family. I began to appreciate the sweetness of having a chosen family. Without getting into much detail, I found myself on my own at that young age. While most of my peers were perfecting the art of beer pong, I was working a professional job (sometimes alongside a second job) and trying to figure out how I was going to get an education and keep the air conditioning running in swampy Florida.

At 21, I was able to go back to college at the University of Central Florida (Charge on, Knights)! At the ripe age of 22, I bought my first home. At 25, I finally graduated with a four-year degree.

Life was a-traditional, but it was good.

Here’s why all this matters: When I became estranged from my family (which I was for roughly 15 years), a woman took an interest in me. She was about my parents’ age, and she counseled me. She was there for me every day I was on my own. And she is still there for me, even though I have reconciled with my parents. If it hadn’t been for her stepping into my life, things would have been quite different for me. This is why adoption is extremely important.

You may be thinking, “What difference can I make? I’m just one person, and there are thousands of children who need to be adopted.”

Fair point. But consider the ripple effect. You adopt one child and raise them with strong values. Odds are every life they touch will be your influence too. And they may grow up to instill good values in their children. Just by adopting one child, you could change the script for 10 generations.

A few years back, I worked for CCAI. I adore this organization because their work is deeply rooted in this idea of ripple impact. They value the lives, experiences, and person-hood of youth in foster care as well as honor and support adoptive families and those who have made significant contributions to the cause. In November, I attended an event called Angels in Adoption that the CCAI puts on annually. It’s an incredible event filled with hope and commitment to do the right thing for our kids. Please check out their website and consider getting involved. http://www.ccainstitute.org/programs/view/angels-in-adoption-about

This photo shows some of the staff, volunteers, and friends of the CCAI who helped put on the capstone "Angels in Adoption" gala, where families who have adopted, members of congress who have been active in the adoption caucus, and national advocates for the cause were honored with fancy food and a program full of incredible stories of hope and inspiration.

We had an absolute blast.

I know there are a lot of causes competing for your attention, and you may feel spread thin. I totally get that. You don’t have to adopt or foster in order to have an impact. You can give as little as $5 a month (the price of a medium cup of coffee) in tax-deductible donations. You would be surprised how these amazing staffers can make that money stretch! I’ve seen it — it’s like watching the feeding of the five thousand. And if you’re not sold on the impact you’ll have, read one of these stories.

I don’t want to have to say I told you so.

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