The Yancey’s Why

What's Your Why?

Here is “the why” Lisa and I started down the road to foster and adopt.

We knew a couple who had fostered as well as adopted children through The CALL so we were aware of how the system worked.

This couple had a couple of boys in their care and they were up for adoption and at the time no one wanted them. We began to be convicted about the fact that we had so much to offer and were not offering it to children in need of the love that we shared.

We started the process of classes required to open our house and got the ball rolling. This process included having to be certified in CPR and first aid, this alone resulted in me being able to save someone’s life later down the road.

We were camping with what would soon become our two forever boys at Calico Rock, trout fishing with an old friend that I had worked for many years ago, That evening during supper my friend became choked on a piece of meat. I at first thought he had excused himself from the table because he was only coughing. I soon realized when a few moments later he was turning red and waving frantically for me to come and help. We had just recertified after our first year of CPR and first aid a few days prior to this trip, so the Heimlich maneuver was fresh in my mind and without even thinking I was able to dislodge the piece of meat from my friends airway and the first of many lives was changed because of our dealings with the Call.

We met the two little boys that are now my sons at church on Mother’s Day three years ago now. Our Pastor and his wife have a son and daughter in law that foster through The CALL and were visiting our church because of Mother’s Day, when they came in with these two little boys whose faces were glowing with love. I will never forget the look on the youngest ones face, then only two at the time. When they took his little hand and asked him if he wanted to go to children’s church in the back.   His foster mother knew that we had tried in the past to adopt a couple of different times and for one reason or another the process fell through, turned to my wife Lisa and whispered, “they’re up for adoption.”

It was at that moment that we felt that we had just met our new family and after a few short weeks they were in our home for visits and soon to stay.

We began the process to adopt and things were going well for all of us. For one reason or another the final adoption kept getting moved back and we couldn’t understand why.

Then one morning, at the end of the oldest son’s first week of school I awoke to the most life changing event that I have ever experienced. My wife Lisa didn’t wake up that morning, the result of a massive heart attack while we slept. There are no words to describe or try and explain how lost and devastated I was at and from that moment on.

The picture of beauty and health, never sick a day in her life. Lisa’s whole life had revolved around taking care of me and these two precious little boys.

When this happened my Father said, “what about those two little boys?” It was at that moment that I knew that I had to do whatever I could to see that they were taken care of and, if the judge would allow it, I would proceed with the adoption.

Well almost a year has passed now since that tragic morning and I am, for the first time, able to sit down and tell the story of my “Why.” I wouldn’t have ever thought that it would have turned out like this but I now have a home full of love with two little boys that now have my last name and the memory of the love given to us by the greatest Wife and Mother I and my two sons could have ever asked for.

Don’t be afraid to answer the CALL!

Mike and Lisa Yancey

Sugar Plum Fairy Tea Party

Sugar Plum

Several of our families were blessed with opportunity to attend the Sugar Plum Fairy Tea party hosted by the Western Arkansas Ballet. Our little girls dressed up, made crafts, had their pictures taken and ate sugary sweets with the ballerinas. I can’t show all the pictures of our kids that are in care but one of our families shared a picture of her daughter at the event. The kids had such a fun time and the parents were so grateful to have the experience.Sugar Plum crafts

Opportunities like this could be once in a lifetime for a child or youth in care. We are very grateful to WAB for providing the tickets and to our families for taking them to the event. There is a often a lot of focus on gifts for the kids at Christmas but I think letting them have experiences is worth more than a toy. A toy only last for a moment, but a memory can last a lifetime. What a fun way to start the Holidays and ring in the New Year!

Movie Date

Movie Night

Lights, Camera, Action, we’re going to the movies! Because of our generous donors and supports The CALL in Crawford & Sebastian was able to rent a screen at Malco Theaters for our families. We were able to serve over 80 families with a ticket, coke and popcorn.Group Photo

We were inspired by the new movie Instant Family, starring Mark Wahlberg. It’s about a couple who decides to adopt and during the process, they end up with 3 kids and the hilarity ensues. The movie, while light hearted, touched on very real issues and handled the ups and downs of adopting fairly accurately. Our families were very impressed with the truthful representation of this adoptive family, the kids and the process. There was not a dry eye in the house so I would recommend tissues!

Again, we’d like to thank our donors for providing the funds for us to do this event. Our families loved it and are looking forward to doing something like this again.Instant Family

The CALL Support Center

Open House

We are very excited to announce the opening of The CALL Support Center, donated by Mercy hospital. As part of the Governor’s Restore Hope initiative, Mercy reached out to us with a plan to donate one of their properties. They wanted to provide visitation rooms for the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) use and an office space for The CALL staff to run the support services needed by foster and adoptive parents.

We started moving in at the end of October and recently held our Open House event for DCFS employees. The Support Center houses our offices, 2 visitation rooms, The CALL Mall, a full kitchen and dining room and a great outdoor space that we are looking forward to utilizing come spring. DCFS will be able to utilize the property at their convenience for visits between children and their families of origin. The families will also have access to the kitchen, dining and outdoor areas. We are encouraging the families to use the house just as they would their own house, by holding Easter, Thanksgiving or Birthday celebrations.

While we haven’t had any visitations yet, we are hopeful they will start soon. We’ve been able to set up two of the bedrooms with toys, a couch and small table to make the visitation comfortable for the families. We are still trying to find donations for outdoor seating and storage. I can’t wait until we start our first visits, I think the families are really going to enjoy their time here.

Thanksgiving Dinner

Buffet LineWe held a wonderful, Thanksgiving Dinner, for our biological parents, the foster parents and the children in care. We had over 40 people in attendance. It was so special to see everyone sitting around the table and eating together. We ordered turkeys and sides from Harps and had several of our volunteers bring food as well. Thank you to Central Christian Church for hosting us and our families.

It was wonderful to see the families all sitting together, some of the kids are still in foster care and the parents are working hard to be able to reunify with them. While others had recently gone back home but still had a relationship with their foster family. Whatever the situation was, the families had a great time and it was very encouraging to see relationships being strengthened.Family Dinner

We would not have been able to hold this event had it not been for our partners at Central Christian and Grace Community Church. Without the support from our local churches, businesses and individuals, we couldn’t provide the support our families need. I’m looking forward to hosting this event again in 2019!