DENVER (CBS4) – Last year, 955 children were adopted out of foster care in Colorado. It’s in everyone’s best interest for these families to thrive. The Adoption Exchange has developed a family support program that is doing just that.

“The joy that we’ve had in both fostering and adopting over the years,” said Jody, a foster and adoptive mother.

(credit CBS)

She and her husband, Charles, have adopted 5 children, had one biological child, and fostered 25 children over 18 years.

“Tell us a little bit about some of the challenges that  you all encountered,” asked CBS4’s Britt Moreno.

“Behaviors can become a challenge over the years,” Jody replied.

For years, Jody and Charles searched for help for their children, a way to reach them.

“I needed more tools. I needed something to help,” Jody explained.

Then she found The  Adoption Exchange and the family support services it offers.

“What we really want to do is create a safe and stable environment where that family, and those kids can stay together for as long as possible,” said Emma Vatsaas, with The Adoption Exchange.

(credit Jody & Charles)

The Adoption Exchange offers connection groups, respire care, and in-home coaching. Jody and Charles meet with Adam right in their living room.

“He came into our home and was able to coach us on those skills, and give us a one-on-one advice on how to put it into practice,” Jody told CBS4.

“Why is it important to go into a home and offer services there?” Moreno asked Vatsaas.

“We’re really able to see families in their natural environment and be able to support them in the best way possible,” Vatsaas replied.

Family Support uses a program called Trust Based Relational Intervention, or TBRI.

“It’s a human model that teaches how to relate to other people in a way that is sensitive and attuned to their needs, that is especially effective for kids who’ve experienced trauma,” Vatsaas explained.

(credit CBS)

“I think what’s so important is that you’re not running away from that, rather you’re harnessing that, and channeling it, and teaching families how to wrap their arms around it,” Moreno said.

“It’s really important that we don’t just erase our children’s histories,” Vatsaas responded.

“It finally gave us a tool that we can actually use and that was helpful in parenting our kids, and we’re seeing a huge difference in our family because of it,” Jody said.

CBS4 holds A Day 4 Wednesday’s Child once a year to raise money and highlight the great work of The Adoption Exchange. You can help families like Jody & Charles by calling in a donation to 303-755-3975, text “Adopt” to 91999, or go to The Adoption Exchange donation page to give online.

Libby Smith

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