This has felt like a timeless summer. For some, it’s meant relief. For others, increased stress. For some of our families, the stresses of delayed legal decisions have been bearing down. Will adoptions finalize? Will their foster children reunify with bio families? Regardless of the decision, the extended in-between time is hard. It’s hard for the parent personally, but more importantly it’s hard to know how to best support and orient our children in these confusing times.
The families of our Wilshire Boulevard Temple cohort continue to meet every month but now by Zoom and, since Second Nurture would never deny our families bagel brunches, we have the yummy spreads home delivered. It’s still wonderful to meet—and the kids burst with just as much excitement to see each other! Second Nurture has done our best to support the families with psychological consultations and also with fun, purposeful help.
We welcomed Esther Ben Gigi, an Ayeka certified parents’ counselor, to discuss parenting in stressful times. It was a content rich, meaningful session in which each parent shared a metaphor describing their experience during these challenging times and Esther, using those metaphors, helped us all think conceptually and practically about ways each one of us could best parent our children through the many uncertainties they must hold. We were all left with the Ayeka model’s powerful metaphor of being a lighthouse for our children.
We also welcomed Ms. Sonja Field to teach parents more ways to tend to their children's coils and curls. To start off, Second Nurture supporter Carolyn Aronson, founder of It’s a Ten! Haircare, herself adopted from foster care, sent gift bags of hair products. Members of our partner community Shomrei Torah Synagogue prepared the gift bags and hand delivered one to each family in the Wilshire Blvd. Temple cohort. It was a fun and practical event and such a joy to see each family unit, tools in hand, following Ms. Sonja's careful, attentive instructions—parting, combing and styling their children’s hair—and to see the kids’ joy in the results! Here's Cora all tuckered out after having her hair done!
We had our first bagel brunch with the Nefesh cohort and are gearing up for IKAR’s, and Shomrei Torah Synagogue has been creating a robust support network for the other communities’ cohorts.
Meanwhile, Susan has updated the Jewish educational materials for the fall holidays— thanks to The Dave Thomas Foundation—beautifully designed by Deborah Delany. And our new gorgeous website is about to be launched, thanks to many volunteer hours by designer extraordinaire Coren Feldman.
We are putting our Columbus grants from Mentor Central Ohio and the Ohio Arts Council to good use, preparing for the October launch of the Harmony Project based mentorship program for Transitional Age Youth aging out of the foster care system. The youth are residents of Star House’s Carol Stewart Village. The programming is created under the expertise of Starfish Alliance. When social isolation measures are lifted, the new mentors will welcome the youth into the Harmony Project Choir.
Big News! Four new amazing board members!
Marra Gad, a grateful child of adoption, speaks internationally about her own transracial adoption, and her experiences as a bi-racial Jew, through the lens of her memoir, THE COLOR OF LOVE: A Story of a Mixed-Race Jewish Girl. She is a writer and producer, and is President of Egad! Productions.
Willie Garson, who adopted his son from foster care, is an actor. He has appeared in over 300 episodes of television, over 70 films as well as continual theater productions. Willie twice served as National Spokesman for National Adoption Day.
Lakshmi Iyer, who adopted her older girls, twins, from foster care, is a software engineer and an author. Lakshmi is the author of a blog on parenting and of the children's book, "Why Is My Hair Curly?"
And last but not least! Mike McCullough, who adopted two of his children internationally, is a technology CFO and Partner in a Venture Capital firm, with a past in auditing. Michael is a licensed CPA and a professor of Business Management.
A loving, excited and grateful welcome to
Marra, Willie, Lakshmi and Mike!
And we are so thankful to welcome a new staff member, Jen Moran!
Update on Suki McCoy, our phenomenal COO:
Suki is taking a step back while she takes care of health issues. We know you join us in sending loving wishes for speedy and complete renewed health.
And, as ever, we are immensely grateful for all of you who make Second Nurture possible!
With love and blessings for health and well-being,