My wife and I were introduced to Kinship Center and attended their foster parent training course, Pathways to Permanence, four years ago this month. Ten months later, we welcomed Jose to our family. While we always felt the training we received at Kinship Center was exceptional, it wasn’t until we became a family that we really began to appreciate all the tools that training provided us.

In the months that followed, the support from our social worker, Carla Felten, and many others at Kinship Center was more than helpful – it was key. We never felt like we were a bother when we called with questions, or with struggles, or just when we needed a sympathetic ear. There were a lot of those calls.

Following Jose joining our family, Carla continued to be a regular part of our lives, and was there when we finalized our adoption nearly a year later, creating our own “Forever Family.” Kinship Center also helped find and put together services that we needed as a family – attachment therapy, Pathways to Permanence II training and more. Even after finalizing our adoption, Kinship Center has been there to support our family.

This family of ours has grown beyond Jose. We have developed very close relationships with his biological family – his sisters, cousins, aunt, and uncle. In a sense we “adopted” them, too, and I’m happy that we are all family.

I know Jose is happy, and I like to tell people that my life is infinitely better with Jose as my son because it’s absolutely true.

A year ago, I was honored to be asked to join Kinship Center’s Leadership Board to tell others, not only my story, but Kinship Center’s and what a profound impact it has on our local community, and beyond. So, if you see me at an event, please come by and say hello, but be careful – I might have a hard time not talking about how blessed we feel because of this great organization.

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