Hi, my name is Nico and I’m nine years old. I have been a foster brother since I was a toddler and have three adopted siblings. I’m excited to tell you about a “Kids March” I organized last year to celebrate National Adoption Month and to celebrate the adoption of my little sister.
It all started about four years ago when my family and I flew to Los Angeles to participate in a “Kids March” to raise money for two group homes for kids in the LA area. I raised almost $2,000 that year. When we arrived in California, I found out that the walk was cancelled because not enough people bothered to show up. I was sad. I knew that the walk would bring attention to the many foster children in Southern California. Kids, lots of kids, are waiting for “forever families” across the United States. I decided that some day I would have my own “Kids Walk” to raise awareness.
Last year, to celebrate my little sister’s adoption, and to celebrate National Adoption Month, my family and I rented a room at the local YMCA. We invited all of our friends and threw a party. We asked everyone to bring items to place into backpacks to be given to kids that come into the foster care program. Then, as part of the celebration, I had my very own “First Annual Kids March.”
With the help of my dad, I made a large banner that said “Every Kid Needs a Forever Family.” I pulled a wagon, while walking in the march filled with shoes, representing all the kids in care who still need Forever Families. We marched all the way around the block. Everyone had a great time. I can’t wait to do it again this year. My mom now works for KidsPeace as an adoption worker and we are having the walk with our local children and youth agency.
Because of my involvement with foster care awareness, I was nominated for an award that Kohl’s Department Stores gives out to children who help in the community. I received a $50 gift card as the winner of the local Kohl’s store and a $1,000 scholarship as the winner of the regional Kohl’s selection. My mom and dad were really proud of me for being recognized by the community. I would like everyone reading this story to have a “Kids March” in their community. The main focus of the march is not to raise money, but to raise awareness for foster kids around our communities and country. Every kid deserves a Forever Family!
AdoptUSKids is a service of the U.S. Children’s Bureau and has been in operation since 2002 by the Adoption Exchange Association under a cooperative agreement (grant #90CQ0003). The mission of AdoptUSKids is two-fold: to raise public awareness about the need for foster and adoptive families for children in the public child welfare system; and to assist U.S. States, Territories, and Tribes to recruit and retain foster and adoptive families and connect them with children.