Monday, November 06, 2000

Finding homes for kids made easier

Adoption fair an encouragement

By Jennifer Mrozowski
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        NEWPORT — John Rudnick Jr. hadn't planned on bringing his 5-year-old adopted daughter Jane to the Adoption Fair 2000, but he was glad he did.

        Jane, dressed in a colorful dress with rainbow-striped sleeves, turned out to be an unexpected advertisement for the cause of adoption. She took it upon herself to tug at people's sleeves as they walked by her father's booth, handing out business cards and giving key chains or candy to the other children at the fair.

  For information on adoption or foster care, some resources are:
  • Foster Care Cooperative, Fort Mitchell, Ky.: (859) 852-1930.
  • Special Needs Adoption Program: 1 (800) 432-9346.
  • Indiana Adoption Resource Network: 1 (888) 25-ADOPT.
  • ADOPTOhio: 1 (800) 755-4769, then press 2.

        “Everyone thinks she's the lucky one,” said Mr. Rudnick, of Wilder. “But we're the lucky ones.”

        Mr. Rudnick came to the fair to talk about his book, Adoption and Spirituality. It tells of Jane's adoption from China, where she had been abandoned as a baby.

        Nearly 30 Tristate public and private adoption and foster care agencies were rep resented at Sunday's fair at The Syndicate Restaurant.

        The event offered a one-stop place for prospective adoptive or foster parents to consider options, said coordinator Debbie Kallmeyer, who is foster care supervisor for the Kentucky Cabinet for Families and Children.

        The fair also highlighted the need for adoptive parents, Ms. Kallmeyer said.

        In the Tristate, more than 700 children with special needs were waiting to be adopted last year, she said. The free fair, now in its fifth year, offered pictures and stories of many of those children.

        New this year were people like Mr. Rudnick who came to tell their stories.

        Ms. Kallmeyer said she hoped the fair reached peo ple who have been considering adoption for some time and people just starting to learn about the process.

        “We hope we are the beginning step,” she said.

        The adoption fair was just one more step in the adoption process for Hamilton resident Kaye Collins.

        Ms. Collins, who is divorced and can't have children, has been thinking about adoption for more than six years. She is working with an agency now but came to the fair to talk to those who have made the leap. “You have to get the word out,” she said.


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