Lauri Currier, Executive Director, The CALL

Lauri Currier
Executive Director
The CALL

Dear Friends:

Each year, I take time to reflect on this picture of the progress of The CALL. I LOVE our Annual Report. Looking at it reminds of the sweet memories captured in snap shots stored in my photo albums – so many emotions!

In 2016, we saw God at work in mighty ways. We experienced moments of elation as new foster and adoptive families were opened and children were adopted by their forever families. We also faced heartbreak and weariness as we met difficult circumstances in the child welfare arena. But through it all, we saw the glory of the Lord rise above it all!

He has equipped us with all we need to carry on as we work toward His vision of no waiting children in Arkansas foster care! I pray you stand with us and use your spiritual gifts for the Kingdom – investing time, energy and skill into loving children and youth in foster care with the extravagant love of Christ.

To our foster and adoptive families – thank you for ministering to children who are suffering the traumatic effects of abuse and neglect. You have blessed the hearts of more than 10,000 children since 2007! You are the provision of the Lord!

To our volunteers – thank you for serving in all kinds of important roles – mobilizing local churches, re-cruiting, training and supporting families as they invest in the lives of children. Your inspire me! You are the heartbeat of this ministry.

To our partners at the Arkansas Division of Children and Family Services – thank you for your commit-ment to this unique partnership between a faith-based organization and a government agency. I am deeply grateful that we are on this journey together!

To our donors – thank you for your investment in the work of The CALL. Your gifts directly impact the lives of abused and neglected children in foster care. Your support provides homes where children can heal and grow.

God is GOOD! Please continue pray for God’s wisdom, guidance and leadership of The CALL.

Until there are more than enough,
Lauri Currier signature

Angels in Adoption

Webb family - Angels in Adoption

Roger and Laura Webb
Pulaski County
Adoptive family

The Webb family was recognized by the U.S. Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute as an Angels in Adoption honoree at the Angels in Adoption Gala Washington D.C. on September 21, 2016.

In 2010, while still single, Laura decided to become a foster parent after seeing the traveling “Heart gallery” photos of children who are available for adoption through Arkansas’s foster care system. After going through the certification process to foster through The CALL, she received her first placement from DCFS the day her home opened. “I have fostered more than a dozen children as a single parent,” she said. “I have done a lot of crying since I began fostering. This is not for the faint of heart. I had a baby once for 15 months before she was returned to her mom. I cried for days. I even had to take time off from work because it hurt so badly.”

Laura, who began working for DHS in April 2014, followed the advice of the foster care trainers — she made all the children she fostered part of her family. She attended every court hearing and doctor’s appointment and took the children on vacation. “I met my husband while I was a single foster parent. I told him I would only date him if he would agree to become involved in this ministry with me. He did,” she said.

She was fostering an infant boy when she and Roger married. They were eventually able to adopt him. A year later, they adopted another baby boy. The boys, Joshua and Christian, are now 4 and 3.

After a lot of soul-searching and prayer, Laura and her husband decided to close their home to fostering so that they could focus on their boys.
“I cried. It was a very difficult decision. Although I already have a lot on my plate, I felt as though I was failing the children,” she acknowledged. “I had to convince myself that I cannot do it all.”

Feeling that call continue on her life, she found a different way to serve children in foster care. Laura, serves on the Board of Directors for The CALL, as well as participates in foster and adoption support groups. She wants to find the right homes for the more than 5,000 children in foster care in Arkansas.

We are so thankful for Laura and Roger and their faithfulness in answering “the call”.

Finding our son

The Baker family — Saline County adoptive family

The Baker Family
Saline County
Adoption

We were called to adopt after seeing a teen’s story on A Place to Call Home in March 2015. We had no idea where to start so we reached out to a neighbor that had adopted from state foster care. She directed us to The CALL.

We weren’t familiar with The CALL at that time, but the county coordinator walked us through everything we needed to do, step by step.  We started the process immediately, attended PRIDE training in July 2015 and our home was opened at the end of September.

We attended a family picnic for open adoptive homes in October specifically to meet the teen from the news segment. We brought with us a life book to introduce our family to him and we spent 2 hours just talking to and getting to know this awesome kid.

We had weekend visits for 2 months and then Donté moved into our home the weekend before Thanksgiving. Our adoption was finalized in June 2016. We are so thankful for Dawn Scott and her segment, and The CALL. They were instrumental in getting our son to his forever home!

An unmistakable call

The Goodman Family adoption finalization

Brian & Joanna Goodman
Adoptive family

Three years ago our family felt an unmistakable call to open our home to children in need. We knew absolutely nothing so we started researching adoption online. There was plenty of information, so many choices and still all we knew was that God was calling us to help children who needed a home.

Finally, I stumbled upon The CALL website. It had a simple yet piercing message about the shortage of foster and adoptive homes in Arkansas and listed a local meeting coming up soon. We showed up clueless but started paperwork that night!

The people at The CALL walked us through every step. They connected us with experienced foster and adoptive families who mentored us through the process. They provided training and support. After our home opened, they continued offering encouragement.

They rejoice with us in our successes. They share our burdens when the journey seems too difficult. They have become our family; a safe place where we come together united for one purpose and one calling. We have since had over 20 children in our home. We are humbled and awed to see Christ at work in the hearts and lives of these children. Earlier this year we finalized the adoption of our sweet curly haired Braxton Goodman!

We could not have made it this far without our CALL family! Thank you!

What would you have us do?

The Scoggins Family — foster family in Fort Smith, Arkansas

Amy and Phillip Scoggins
Fort Smith
Foster Family

My wife had the desire to foster for years yet I had always been hesitant.  Then our church sent me to Kenya to research how we could build some orphanages.  While there, our team saw kids who had been through unimaginable things.  I lamented to God with the age old question of “Why do you allow this?”  

That question is an honest one.  However, it is purposeless  without another question- “What would you have us do?”  The answer for us is “The Call”. He called us to open our home to children in need in Fort Smith, AR while I was over 8,000 miles away.
 
We are called to take care of children that the Lord has placed in our midst with the capacity that only he can provide.  We are new to this and learning constantly about “the system” but more so about God’s mercy and  daily provision as he continues to grow our ability to care for his children.

8 years and all in

The Jones family — Little Rock, Arkansas, volunteers

Keith and Natasha Jones
Pulaski County
Volunteer

In the Fall of 2007, my wife Natasha and I heard a message about a new ministry The CALL.  With 3 kids under 3, we signed up for the prayer list but felt a deeper desire to serve.  In the Spring of the next year, we received an e-mail asking for volunteer trainers.  I trained at work, but it meant 3 days of vacation to get certified.  Before I could think any further, Natasha was calling asking if I had already signed up.

It has been 8 years and we are all in.  I have gone from training 2-3 weekends a year, to being the Training Coordinator, scheduling and coordinating 9 training a year with our partner churches.  I was invited to serve on the Advisory Board and our entire family has contributed through service projects, supporting friends who foster, and recruiting families to attend our fundraising banquet.  We now have 7 children and are not in a position to foster or adopt, but are eager to see how God can continue to use us to serve these families in crisis.

Investing in kids and the future

Charlie Kinslow, The CALL board chair

Charlie Kinslow
Little Rock
Donor

I was introduced to THE CALL 6 years ago by the wife of one of my investment clients. They were looking for a meeting place for a “brainstorming” session to generate ideas to further help and improve the adoptive and foster child situation in Arkansas. I accepted their gracious invite to join the Statewide CALL Board and have now been a member for 6 years- the last 2 being Chair.
 
During this time I have been utterly amazed and gratified with what this unique and groundbreaking public/private partnership has accomplished in our small and wonderful state. Your investments have immensely improved the lives of these kids as we open foster and adoptive homes at a rapidly increasing rate every year. Our work through Arkansas churches continues to bear great and much needed fruit as we strive to fulfill our Biblical mandate.
 
Thank you from my heart for your consistent and joyous giving to THE CALL. Thanks to you God is indeed smiling daily on our work here in the Natural State. You are indeed a most valued partner in our past, present, and future success. Your dollars bring “delight” to those children in need of a future family home.
 
God bless and thanks for listening.
 
Charlie Kinslow
THE CALL Statewide Board Chair