Make a difference: November is Adoption and Military Family Awareness Month

  • Published
  • By Hedda Forquer
  • Licensed Social Worker
Besides Thanksgiving, November is also a very special month as it is Military Family Awareness and Adoption Awareness Month, celebrating the importance of family.

The adoption of a child is a very special gift for everyone involved. I have been blessed that I have been able to adopt as well as having a biological child. My kids are all amazing children and I am thankful to have been given the opportunity to make a difference in their lives as their mom.

But there are some in our community that aren't so fortunate. There is a real need in our own community for foster and adoptive families. Children in our community have to be placed over three hours away or into temporary shelters because there aren't enough foster families available in Wichita Falls.

There are about 200 children who live in some type of foster care setting in Wichita Falls. Of those include 120, ranging from infants to 17-year-olds, who hope for a chance to become a permanent part of a family through adoption. Many have spent most of their lives in this "temporary" situation, and have had to move within the child welfare system more times than they care to remember.

The need for families to make that special commitment to a child through foster care or adoption in this country is staggering. Currently we have 513,000 children in foster care and many of those wait for permanent families to make a commitment to them.

Every military family can relate to the stress of frequent moves. Imagine all the moves you have made in your military career and try to imagine doing them as a child without your family and without control of where you would end up sleeping from one week to another. Imagine what a difference you could make if you opened your home and heart to a child who needs you.

Military service is all about the defense of this nation and all we hold near and dear in our lives. Our children are the future of this nation; think of all the wonderful qualities and gifts that you could offer as a military family by investing in a child in your community. By doing so, you would not only work every day to defend this nation but you would make a long-term investment in its future.

Please do not let the fact that you know you will not be staying at Sheppard forever stop you from pursuing fostering or adoption of a child. Local foster care and adoption specialists will help you break through those obstacles when the time comes for you to move on to your next base. Just as you invest in a child's future, local child welfare workers want to invest in you for the sake of the children in their care.

For those interested in foster care or adoption of the 200 children waiting in Wichita Falls, call the local Child Protective Services Certification Specialist at 940-235-1850.

You may also contact the Family Advocacy Program for more information on becoming a foster or adoptive family at 676-2271.

For a military guide on adoption go to the National Military Family Association at

Statistics and adapted information from materials by the North American Council on Adoptable Children and Wichita Falls Foster and Adoption Specialists; used with permission.