CARA CONNECTIONS by vivi07

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									CARA CONNECTIONS
Volume 2 Issue I January 2008 to March 2008

Welcome to the second year of CARA CONNECTIONS!
How nice it was to see so many familiar faces at CARA’s special showing of the Oscar-winning movie JUNO on January 29th in Groton. JUNO, in case you haven’t heard, is a portrayal of a pregnant 16-year-old struggling with her choices. CARA received an unexpected treat that night: the opportunity to connect with high school students! A Norwich Free Academy journalism student attended the movie and interviewed CARA staff for an upcoming segment on the NFA TV News. Now that spring is upon us, we are beginning to plan for the second CARA families picnic. Once again, the venue will be Fort Shantok in Uncasville. I hope we’ll be lucky enough to have another beautiful day! Our picnic is a wonderful way to meet other CARA families who have grown through adoption. I would also like to share news about CARA’s recent strategic planning process. CARA held a strategic planning retreat last September (the previous strategic plan was six years old). Connecticut State Representative Tom Reynolds of Ledyard facilitated the day-long retreat. Many wonderful ideas about the direction CARA will take in the years ahead, along with ideas about how to improve CARA’s current services, were generated that day. Our staff and board agreed that CARA will become a leader in adoption services throughout Connecticut, with an emphasis on promoting the adoption of children domestically. CARA will continue to put special effort towards the adoption of the neediest of children, including those in state foster care, as well as infants placed for private adoption. CARA recently received a grant to develop a computer database that will track families waiting for harder to place children such as those of minority backgrounds or with medical needs. CARA will be working with other private adoption agencies in Connecticut to compile the database which will allow all Connecticut agencies to input a list of families. Thanks to the database, when a child becomes available anywhere in our state, all agencies may easily identify families for potential matching. CARA, as the lead agency in this important project, is very excited to significantly decrease the amount of time it takes to find an appropriate family and shorten or eliminate the amount of foster care a child being adopted may need. Best wishes for a beautiful spring! Sandra Couillard Executive/Clinical Director

Kerri’s Corner
Why I want to be America’s Favorite Mom
2008 is the 100th anniversary of Mother's Day and Teleflora, Redbook, and NBC are the sponsors of the America’s Favorite Mom contest which celebrates Moms who make a difference in the lives of their families, communities and the world. I am asking CARA families and friends to help me reach thousands of Americans who might be able to find room in their heart and home for a child in need. If I am picked as one of the fifteen contest semi-finalists in the America’s Favorite Mom contest, I get to go on the TODAY show and talk about my mission: Finding homes for the 113,000 children living in foster care today. You can help! Go to www.americasfavoritemom.com and search for me: Kerri Charette. Then, vote for me every day until the end of April! Make it count by adding comments to my nomination to raise my profile with the panel of experts that will select the semi-finalists. Shame, me? No. Pride when it comes to helping children? None at all. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Project Connecticut’s Child Update: Borders Bookstore Adoption Informational Sessions are a HUGE Success!
CARA holds adoption information sessions at three Borders Books and Music, Seattle’s Best Café locations: Fairfield, Meriden, and Waterford. These meetings have seen attendance climb steadily every month! People want to learn more about adoption and CARA’s sessions are very informative as well as easy to fit into a busy schedule. Getting information into the hands of individuals and families who have considered adopting a child Upcoming Sessions: April 2 May 7 June 4 7:00 PM

A HUGE CARA THANK YOU to two local families who are helping dreams come true with their generous donations! The Huisking Foundation was started by Laura Colebank’s grandfather in honor of his brother who died in WWII. The Colebanks, Kevin and Laura, recently adopted their daughter, Anastasia, from Russia. CARA received a donation of one thousand dollars from the Huisking Foundation. Thank you Colebank family and welcome Anastasia! A second unexpected donation arrived for CARA from Jennifer and Lynn of New London. This family requested that in lieu of gifts, donations to CARA be made at a recent birthday party for one of their members. These gifts will help a family and child find each other. What a wonderful dream come true!

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Adoption Support Group News
A Wish for Children is inviting all adoptive families and children, waiting families, and families thinking about adopting to their International and Transracial Adoption Support Group. This group meets the first Thursday of each month at the Women & Family Life Center (WFLC), Carriage House, 96 Fair Street, Guilford, CT. Next meeting:Thursday, April 3, 2008, from 6:30 - 8:00 PM. Topic: The 7 Core Issues of Adoption. The group is facilitated by Patti Urban, Executive Director of A Wish for Children, and Lois Glazer LMFT, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Refreshments provided. RSVP (203) 458-6009 or email: info@awishforchildren.org.

Board of Directors
Officers
David Fairman, President Alan Cohen, Vice President Courtney Gates-Graceson, Secretary Shaun Savoie, Treasurer

Board of Directors Members
Toni Bingham Barbara Welsh Blackwell Brian Charette Cheryl Graboski Cheri McDonald-Hudgins Steven Wipfler

Board of Directors Emeritus
Bennie Jennings Joseph C. Sheffey Eunice Waller

Staff

Sandra Couillard, Director

Elaine Butler Mary DiGioia Lisa Knofla Susan Parrotta Virginia Rupy Cynthia Woodis West Kerri Charette

Ann Cady Allyson Foerster Ali Lacey Erica Pelish-Sundstromn Nora Villani Laura Smallridge Work Maren Lauder

Jane Walker Clark Kathleen Kastrup Tamara Paglia Doreen Reis Margaret Wood

Francesca Villani

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CARA CONNECTIONS
Volume 2 Issue I Page 3 January 2008 to March 2008

A HUGE CARA THANK YOU to two local families who are helping dreams come true with their generous donations! The Huisking Foundation was started by Laura Colebank’s grandfather in honor of his brother who died in WWII. The Colebanks, Kevin and Laura, recently adopted their daughter, Anastasia, from Russia. CARA received a donation of one thousand dollars from the Huisking Foundation. Thank you Colebank family and welcome Anastasia! A second unexpected donation arrived for CARA from Jennifer and Lynn of New London. This family requested that in lieu of gifts, donations to CARA be made at a recent birthday party for one of their members. These gifts will help a family and child find each other. What a wonderful dream come true!

Adoption Support Group News
A Wish for Children is inviting all adoptive families and children, waiting families, and families thinking about adopting to their International and Transracial Adoption Support Group. This group meets the first Thursday of each month at the Women & Family Life Center (WFLC), Carriage House, 96 Fair Street, Guilford, CT. Next meeting:Thursday, April 3, 2008, from 6:30 - 8:00 PM. Topic: The 7 Core Issues of Adoption. The group is facilitated by Patti Urban, Executive Director of A Wish for Children, and Lois Glazer LMFT, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Refreshments provided. RSVP (203) 458-6009 or email: info@awishforchildren.org.


								
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