November 9th is World Adoption Day, a day dedicated to celebrate and acknowledge all children and families that were brought together by the power of adoption. It’s a day to honor, acknowledge and raise awareness around the beauty of each individual's adoption journey and to uplift voices across the globe.
As a mark of celebration, thousands of people around the world draw a smiley face on their hand to acknowledge all those who have been impacted by adoptive families. O.U.R. would like to bring awareness to its program Children Need Families, a solution to bridging the gap between at-risk children and a loving and nurturing home.
Children Need Families Mission
Children Need Families (CNF) is a preventative project of Operation Underground Railroad that was founded by Katherine Ballard, Tim Ballard’s wife. CNF was created in response to the financial burden that adoption poses on prospective families. In efforts to alleviate that potential setback, CNF assists families in the adoption process by offering a financial grant.
Children who live outside of a family structure can be subject to increased vulnerabilities. Therefore, CNF is a preventative project of O.U.R. to further combat the exploitation of children by helping them to find a stable and healthy environment for growth. In alignment with O.U.R., CNF funds adoptions from many of the same countries that O.U.R. conducts operations and rescue missions in. However, children within the CNF program are not necessarily survivors of human trafficking and exploitation.
Since the program's inception, Children Need Families has assisted over 100 families in the process of their adoption and over 150 children have been given the opportunity of a forever home. O.U.R. is excited to see this program expand and flourish, giving children and families a new opportunity of hope.
Meet the Sorenson’s, a family who deeply benefitted from the financial support of CNF. Alison and Rich felt the call to adopt, even though the financial burden on their family would be great. They had faith that their worries would be eased, and decided to pursue adoptions in Korea. The Sorenson’s were introduced to “Bear,” a loving little boy that would soon be a part of their family. With the help of the CNF grant, the adoption was made possible and Bear was brought into his new loving home.“The biggest blessing is Bear. We have him in our family forever and we are so grateful for this gift,” Alison shares about their adoptive journey. Read about the Sorenson family’s entire journey to adoption here.
Claudson was introduced to his forever home, thanks to Children Need Families. The Stahl family felt called to adopt from Haiti, but never could have foreseen the tremendous obstacles that would follow this path. After seven long years, and with the help of the CNF grant, the Stahl family was able to welcome Claudson home. “For me, the biggest blessing is having this life experience of being Claudson’s mother,” shares his mom. For the full story of Claudson’s adoption, click here.
Children Need Families is more than a financial grant offered to adoptive parents. It’s a beacon of hope, a fresh new beginning and a journey of healing and love for so many. If you or someone you know would like to be involved, visit the Children Need Families section of our website for more information. Happy World Adoption Day!