The Doing Good blog follows area charities and social service agencies.

About Amy Umble: Amy Umble writes about religion and social issues affecting the Fredericksburg community. You can email her at

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Adoption Awareness Month

November is Adoption Awareness Month. And while Virginia has started a new initiative aimed at getting more foster children adopted, more than 800 are still waiting for a family. The Virginia effort is called the Children’s Services System Transformation. So far, the intitiative hasn’t officially reached the Fredericksburg office. But local Department of Social Services offices have implemented some of the practices, including creativity and individual attention in finding homes.

In my almost three years as a social services reporter, I’ve met a lot of foster parents and adoptive parents. The first thing I noticed is that these parents aren’t so different from me. They’re really just average parents with huge hearts. It made me see how feasible adoption truly is. And most of the kids I’ve met are really wonderful. I’ve met kids on both sides: those who’ve been adopted and those who are waiting for a home. It is really eye-opening to see how much difference a family makes. And for most of us, it’s something we take for granted.

Today, I met a man who grew up in foster care and never got adopted. He ended up in jail and homeless. He has a warm heart and a gracious personality. And talking with him, I wondered where he might be now if he’d just had a permanent family.

So, during November, I’d like to introduce you to some of the Virginia children waiting for a family. Just in case you’re thinking about adding to yours. This is Heather, one of the children available through Children’s Home Society of Virginia. If you’d like to know more about Heather or other children, contact Krista McCulloch at Children’s Home Society of Virginia at 800/247-2888 or 804/353-0191.