It was a beautiful day as twenty families gathered together to eat. Meat sizzled on the grill and grinning face-painted children ran around underfoot. It wasn’t a family reunion or a neighborhood block party, but rather a gathering of families on the similar journey of fostering and adopting kids who have experienced trauma.
On September 15, 2012, Timberline Church was home to the third Colorado Family Wellness Event sponsored by the Finally Home Foundation and put on through the efforts of many volunteers. Families from all over Northern Colorado committed their Saturday to learning and growing.
The parents spent much of the day working on skills like being a team with their partner, parenting as a leader and model, making rules, and solving family problems. The workshops, taught by certified instructors, counted toward the hours needed to maintain a foster-care license. In addition to learning practical strategies to strengthen their marriages and communication skills, they were able to spend invaluable time with other families and brainstorm solutions gleaned from their collective experiences.
Meanwhile, over 50 children ages one to thirteen had a day filled with fun activities including face-painting, inflatable bounce castles, board games, and age-appropriate crafts. If a child needed one-on-one attention, a qualified volunteer was there to help. For many, it was the first time parents had been able to leave their children in childcare knowing they would be able to remain for the day in a loving and supportive environment.
In the middle of the day, the SERVE 6.8 cooking team prepared and served a delicious meal including hot dogs and hamburgers with all the fixings, macaroni salad, fruit salad, and chips along with cookies and brownies for dessert. Additional volunteers were on hand to hold open doors, help families juggle multiple plates and drinks, and clean up.
Fostering and adopting kids who have experienced trauma is a challenging road. Finally Home Foundation exists to encourage and equip these special families and give them a forum to connect with one another. The Family Wellness Event was provided at no cost to the families they serve.
The goal was to give families a much needed break and to make their day. Judging by the many smiles, they certainly did.