As the Beatles played, I glanced at Oscar through the rear-view mirror. I wondered if Lennon and McCartney were yet parents when they wrote “All You Need Is Love.” While it is certainly the most important ingredient in raising a child, love alone cannot sustain a child. They need safety, shelter, food, clothing, and in Oscar’s case, medical support.
Oscar’s birth parents loved him dearly but could not offer what he needed. He has Down syndrome. His parents struggled with both substance abuse and mental illness. He had love but he needed a family who could also provide basic needs.
Oscar was only months old when Arizona’s Children Association (AzCA) introduced us to him. We instantly knew that: (1) We had fallen in love; (2) Taking in a medically fragile child was something we had not prepared for.
But we so longed for Oscar to be a part of our family. My husband Graham took my hand as we asked the social worker, “How do we make this happen?”
AzCA had a plan. They directed us to participate in their Foster Parent College trainings where we took courses such as Trauma Informed Parenting and Parenting/Child Attachment – critical for a newborn like Oscar. After completing an 18-hour certificate course called Care for the Medically Complex Child, we felt confident that we could make our home suitable for Oscar.
To have taken Oscar into our home without the advanced training that AzCA provided would have meant returning Oscar to a dangerous situation.
Arizona’s Children Association ensured that we were educated and equipped to give Oscar the safe, loving, and now permanent home that he deserves.
I want you to know something: The hero in this story is not me. It is not my family. It is not Arizona’s Children Association. The hero in this story is you. Friends like you are the reason that AzCA has the means to help kids like Oscar find forever families that can offer both love and basic needs.
Every donation made to AzCA is a stepping stone towards a child finding a safe place to call home. Please help a vulnerable child by sending in your best gift today.
You can keep a kid safe by making the most generous contribution you can today.
I ask you to please give the gift of a safe and loving home by making a charitable donation to Arizona’s Children Association. Please, change a child’s life today.
Oscar’s proud mother
PS: Make your gift today to help a kid like Oscar find a place to call home. This gift may qualify you for the AZ Charitable Organization Tax Credit—dollar-for-dollar and up to $400 for individuals, or $800 for couples filing jointly. Contributions made through April 15th can be applied to the current or preceding taxable year.