Mattapoisett residents Deanna and Victor Vieira are taking steps to help children in state foster care find loving adoptive families. The Vieira family has signed up for the Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange’s Walk for Adoption on Sunday, May 20. A group of the Vieira’s closest friends and families will join them that day to celebrate adoption. The group has named themselves “Nicole’s Team,” in honor of Deanna and Victor’s four-year-old daughter, whom they adopted from foster care in November, 2009.
Deanna and Victor feel strongly about doing all they can to provide safe homes for children in need. In addition to raising funds to support MARE, and adopting Nicole at the age of two, they have been foster parents for children in the state’s care for years.
“We fall in love with all the children that come into our home. I would adopt every child in foster care if I could!” Deanna says. “I am forever trying to tell other people what an amazing difference adoption has made in our lives.”
The family participated in last year’s Walk for Adoption and were so inspired by the gathering of so many proud adoptive families that they “had to be a part of it again this year.”
The Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange (MARE) is organizing the 3rd annual Walk for Adoption to raise funds and friends for its work to recruit adoptive parents for children and teens in state foster care. Over 600 local children are currently growing up in temporary foster care while waiting for permanent, loving homes.
MARE’s programs to find potential adoptive families include Wednesday’s Child on WBZ TV, children’s profiles in newspapers statewide, and the Heart Gallery portrait exhibit displayed in libraries, stores, and shopping malls. Through these public programs and behind the scenes work, MARE has helped more than 5,750 children leave foster care for permanent families over the past 54 years.
WCVB news anchor Bob Halloran, NECN reporter Eileen Curran, and their adopted daughter will be walking. Adopting Grace was “the best thing I’ve done in my entire life,” Curran says. “When you adopt a child, some people will say that you “rescued” that child. Truth is the child rescues you.”
The Walk for Adoption is a fun-filled celebration of adoption, featuring a family-friendly 5K walk (indoor/outdoor) as well as arts & crafts activities, face painting, balloon art, a visit by Pat Patriot (the team mascot), a photo booth, DJ, prizes, and refreshments. The Taunton Fire and Police Departments will host child safety booths. Walk participants can register online at www.firstgiving.com/MARE or contact MARE for registration forms. A raffle will be open to all; prizes will be awarded for top fundraising individuals and teams. Adoption agencies, families, and businesses are all fielding teams for the Walk.
For more information on A Walk Home, MARE’s Walk for Adoption, or to learn about adoption from foster care, contact MARE at 800-882-1176, 617-54-ADOPT, or visit www.MAREinc.org.