Meet … Audrey Foster, Adoption Advocate
Along with the great speakers at this year’s Summit, the seats will be filled with adoptive parents, adoptive professionals, and advocates with many years of experience.
What this means for you is that not only will the sessions be rich, but the time for interaction and socialization is also priceless.
I think it’s important for us to remember that “the professionals” started … somewhere. And so I’d like you to meet Audrey Foster, who’s story starts like so many of ours, with some dreams and ideas and what they call in the movies “a little bit of gumption” …
One of my favorite childhood memories is the few times a summer I was able to go swimming. I grew up in an urban section of N.J. where there was mostly pavement, not grass. To go to a lake, pool or the seashore was a marvelous thing for me. I was sure that swimming was a preview to activities we would find in heaven.
Growing up reading lots of book, I seemed to come across many stories, fiction and non-fiction, about children who needed loving parents. They touched my heart deeply. When I married, we adopted and had birth children. After they were tucked into bed at night, I would relax with a book and often it would touch on the subject of orphans. I remember yearning to do something for children who had no parents and often I prayed that God would open a way for me to help. When our children were in high school, I tried to volunteer at an adoption agency, but in those days there was no system for volunteering. So I went back to school and got a Masters degree so that I could work in the adoption field. I feel SO blessed that God has given me the opportunity to work for His orphaned children, personally in my family life and professionally, alongside others who really care.
The biggest hurdle was trying so hard to do something meaningful for orphans and not finding a place to volunteer my time and energy. I overcame it by getting the credentials I needed to enter the work force of child welfare. Over the 35 years I have been in the field, I have made a point of providing opportunities for people to volunteer in adoption work and in the orphan care work I started in Uganda and India. Many, many people come forward because they really long to give of
themselves in that area.
Audrey is an adoptive mother (4 by birth, 12 by adoption), and works alongside her daughter Alison, an adoption attorney who is the Executive Director of a licensed adoption agency, Family Connections Christian Adoptions (FCCA). Audrey founded the agency and ran it for about 19 years; Alison has been in charge for the last 10. FCCA is licensed in California and has 6 offices throughout the state. Their focus is waiting children (some say “special needs”). They do some relinquishment adoption, but most of the children they place come from the California foster care system and orphanages in other countries.