No waiting children – that’s God’s vision for His children in foster care in Arkansas! You play a role in that vision as a foster or adoptive family, a volunteer, a donor, or a prayer warrior! Whatever your investment – time, talent or treasure – you’re helping to heal hurting children and families with amazing energy and commitment.
Every county in Arkansas continues to face a community problem – too few families to care for local orphans. The solution can be found in your community – in your local Church. The CALL – with your help – is moving the Church to serve!
This Annual Report is a snapshot of our progress in 2014. I hope this glimpse of the past inspires you as much as it does me! The CALL has grown at an incredible pace.
New county affiliates, church partners, and foster and adoptive families are growing in number daily around Arkansas. Our work is nationally recognized – and together we are leading in the faith based /government partnership arena!
Growth leads to changed lives – kids in foster care, their families, foster and adoptive families, volunteers, and donors! You and I are transformed through our love and care for local orphans. Thank you for being a willing servant. Amazing!
One of the highlights of 2014 was the day we opened the 1,000th family recruited, trained, and supported through The CALL. There was a whole lot of happy dancin’ going on statewide! Congratulations to you on that enormous accomplishment!
Now, please take a few minutes to read about all the other cool stuff you helped with in 2014 in this report! It’s all good…
There is no doubt that God is blessing the work of our hands – but to make God’s vision a reality – we must persevere! I pray you will find your unique purpose – the way God made you to serve local orphans – and get yourself plugged in for HUGE impact in the coming year!
Blessings sweet friends!
Until no child is waiting,
Year end tally
At the end of 2014, there were 496 open foster homes and 136 open adoptive homes, recruited by The CALL. There were also 274 families in the certification process.
Amazing foster/adoptive/bio mommas
“Ann Meythaler and Annie Martin … both women are [the most] amazing foster/adoptive/bio mommas I’ve ever met. I love their hearts for all kiddos and they truly live out James 1:27 in everything they do. I love these 2 mommas and thank God for placing them in my life and foster care journey.”
32 new trainers from 16 counties were trained in 3 3-day sessions.
Take the time to train
“Keith Jones and family: they have a LOT going on, yet Keith takes the time train the PRIDE trainers and train prospective foster families himself. They could so easily say they are too busy (because they are), yet they take the time.”
The CALL in new counties
During 2014, The CALL launched in Boone County, Franklin County and Clark County, immediately beginning to recruit, train and support families from the Christian community.
Never given up
“I am constantly inspired by the wonderful Kitterman family who have loved and never given up on their precious children and working on being their forever family.”
In October 2014 we held our 6th Annual Statewide Summit. 153 staff, volunteers and DCFS workers came together for 2 full days of training and encouragement for recruiting, training and supporting foster and adoptive families.
Families recruited by The CALL adopted 152 children during the year.
A forever home
During the year, 73 new adoptive homes, recruited and trained by The CALL, were opened.
New foster families in 2014!
180 new foster homes completed the certification process and were opened to children needing a home.
First Foster Family Open In Pope County
First Foster Family Open In Pope County. Greg and Day Burns were the first foster family to open their home through The CALL in Pope County in March of 2014. I have known this wonderful couple for two years and have never ceased to be amazed by their love, passion and encouragement for each other and those in the community.
They continually choose to focus on the positive and embrace the chaos that comes with receiving a new child into their home. As Day says, they are learning their “new normal” and are enjoying every minute of it. They continually pour their life, love and prayers into each new little life that walks through their doors–a lesson we could all stand to learn or at least take a refresher course in!
We are so thankful for Day and Greg and the many other foster and adoptive parents in our community for opening their homes and hearts to the waiting children of Pope County and Arkansas.
“Chris and Crystal Dendy for their willingness to drop everything to house and love every single child they can. Their house is constantly full and they would take more if DHS let them.”
Getting the word out
The CALL held 291 recruitment events.
The CALL doesn’t just recruit and train families who foster and adopt. During the year, 117 support events were held, with 946 families attending!
At the end of 2014, The CALL was active in 29 counties, with another 5 working towards launch!
Lifted us up
“I am forever thankful and inspired by my church family. They have lifted us up in prayer, cried with us, laughed with us and been a family to all my kids. Whether they were born to me or not, they welcomed and loved and was a family to all of them.”
129 Info Meetings held in churches around Arkansas, with 902 families attending.
352 families received the required training to become a foster or adoptive family by The CALL in 55 trainings held in churches across Arkansas.
Love for these kids
“Tenille Rauls and her total desire to serve HIM no matter what. Her love for these kids is a testament to her heart for God. So thankful to have her as part of my support team while we love the kids that are coming into our home.”
Baxter County Helps Re-Wire House
God works in amazing ways. One recent way was through a local electrician and several friends from local churches. The CALL in Baxter County was made aware from a DCFS Case Worker of a family that needed some major rewiring of their home in order for their children to return home from foster care.
The family was very discouraged because they were told it was a significant problem and would cost well above anything they would be able to pay. One of our respite families happened to see the post on our FB page about the need and felt passionate about making it happen. Kaytie Kelley and her husband, Ryan, recruited Josh Thompson, with Thompson Electric, Wirt McKee, Eric Rushing, and Russell Tucker and they got the entire job DONE for FREE for the family. Our local Home Depot was amazing and donated some of the supplies as well! Not only was physical light brought to this biological families home but also the team was able to pray over the family as well and bring the most important light of all our Savior Jesus Christ. We received a thank you note from the biological family with precious words of their thanks.
Working to restore families can happen in many forms. God can and does use people and many situations to bring glory to Him. We are thankful The CALL in Baxter County was able to help facilitate and witness this amazing work He did through His people.
Families who adopt children
“I appreciate the families who are willing to adopt children who can not, for whatever reason, be raised by their bio parents.”
“I am SO grateful to The CALL for all of the wonderful things you provide to those of us who need help/support/education!”
The CALL partnered with the Central Arkansas Orphan Coalition for the first annual HOPE Conference: bringing hope and support to Arkansas foster and adoptive parents. Hosted by Geyer Springs First Baptist Church in Little Rock, keynote speakers Michael and Amy Monroe shared tools for caring for children from hard places. Michael and Amy have developed Empowered To Connect Parent Training in partnership with Tapestry foster care ministry at Irving Bible Church in Texas and Dr. Karyn Purvis from Texas Christian University.
Over 300 people from all over the state attended breakout sessions offering practical insights for parents of foster and adoptive children to use in their marriages, encouragement from longtime foster parents who will offer hope for the amazing journey of foster care and adoption, experts from several agencies will answer questions for those considering a private domestic or international adoption, as well as education about sensory processing skills and the language learning necessary to every child’s development.
New Affiliate Operations Training
In August 2014 we held our first two sessions of New Affiliate Operational Training. This is a two day training developed to train new affiliate leadership teams on the programs and procedures of The CALL. Additionally, we offered one on one training for each specific job on the local team. We trained leadership in Franklin County in Charleston, Arkansas on August 5 & 6 and Clark County in Arkadelphia, Arkansas on August 11 & 12.
In May 2014 a group of 17 county and statewide leaders met to begin work on The CALL’s Strategic Plan.