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Special Event: Foster-Adopt Organizations bring “The Language of Flowers” Author to Denver

Denver’s Human Services Department, along with The Adoption Exchange and other organizations, are pleased to bring author Vanessa Diffenbaugh for a FREE book signing in Denver next week the evening of September 10.

Denver event for "The Language of Flowers" book signingVanessa Diffenbaugh is the author of the acclaimed novel The Language of Flowers, which has been optioned as a motion picture. From Amazon:

The Victorian language of flowers was used to convey romantic expressions: honeysuckle for devotion, asters for patience, and red roses for love. But for Victoria Jones, it’s been more useful in communicating mistrust and solitude.

Gimme Shelter: the Movie, the Movement

“There are 750,000 young, pregnant, scared women out there. People don’t realize how many Apples are out there in total crisis.”

— Kathy DiFiore, the inspiration behind
the film Gimme Shelter (January 24 release).

Kathy DiFiore shares this statistic with me one recent morning when I met with her and filmmaker Ronald Krauss.

Ronald started out making a documentary. His brother lived within two miles of Several Sources, a New Jersey shelter for young women in crisis, and Ronald could easily envision such a shelter as fertile ground for a documentary. He began following a story that had Kathy DiFiore at the center, a woman who had taken the words of St Francis of Assisi to heart after her own messy divorce and subsequent homelessness:

Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy.American

Becoming Mothers: From Infertility to Foster Care to Widowhood to Adoption

In 2001 I started dating the handsome man that would eventually become my husband. We wanted to start a family (neither of us had kiddos yet) but were in our late thirties. Of course, I had a plan. I gave us a year to get pregnant the old-fashioned way. If that didn’t happen we would start a new journey…Adoption. I did my homework during the “conception year” and learned the good, the bad and the ugly of foster to adopt, international and domestic adoption. I presented my findings to my husband and we both agreed, fost/adopt was the route we would go.

In 2007, our fostering to adopt journey began.

The county was very clear from the get go: they are not an adoption agency, their goal is reunification. We were certified in 2008 and got “the call” for our first placements in early 2009: 4 1/2 year old twins, “Jack” and “Jill”. Our entire family fell in love and those darling angels blessed our home for nine months. Our hope of hopes was adoption but they ended up going to live with kin.

Thousands of kids are adopted from the welfare system

Images of children from distant countries, from Bulgaria to China to Russia, have been the public face of adoption in America.

But that picture is overdue for an update.

Most kids adopted by U.S. families now come from the child-welfare system: about 52,340 in 2010, up from 15,000 in 1988.

In Colorado, the number has increased 125 percent to 1,044 in 2010 from 465 in 1995.

The consensus is that it’s good to get children out of “the system.” However, such adoptions can bring with them

Denver schoolteacher Carol Wilcox role model, mom for East High’s Hendrix brothers

On the lawn in front of stately Denver East High School, Isaiah Hendrix reached out and, with the back of his hand, lightly tapped his brother, Kadeem. “He means a lot to me,” Isaiah said. “I love him.”

A few minutes later, Kadeem said of Isaiah, “He means everything to me.”

Isaiah is a senior tailback, Kadeem a junior quarterback for the East Angels. They are good players, good enough they probably will be able to play college football somewhere.

That’s not what this story is about.

This is about the love among two brothers and Carol Wilcox, the Denver schoolteacher who after spotting them as victims of abuse from their birth mother