"Dawn and Alex Bath fostered Colin as a newborn and adopted him as a toddler. Colin was born drug exposed and has some developmental issues that stem from his diagnosis of NAS. Colon is autistic. Dawn and Alex have gone above and beyond for Colin in every aspect of his life. They are fervent advocates for Colin in all the therapies he requires. They also make sure that Colin still gets to visit with his biological sibling who was adopted by another family. They truly exude what adoptive parents should always be. They are also advocates for autism awareness. Child safety has always been their priority and they make sure Colin and any other children they encounter know exactly what love is supposed to be. I could not think of a more deserving family for this award!"
"Kelsey and Justin are phenomenal and they are the epitomy of what you would want for adoptive parents. First, they adopted two teenage girls. They have involved the girls in the community and keep them very active in sports, church, and school. Kelsey went to therapy herself to help with processing the trauma to the girls prior to their placement to make sure she was ready. Kelsey and Justin co-parent with the girls siblings adoptive parents. They share vacations, family events and support for each other. Kelsey and Justin have surrounded the girls in love, pure love. They are accepting of the girls and their history of trauma. They have stood hand in hand with the girls to make them feel loved and supported. They maintain biological family relationships and encourage the girls to do what they feel is best in that area. The foster parents have made them family members before the adoption. I used to go on home visits and said it was weird being there because it was as if I was the outsider and I knew it, not because they did anything other than function as a family. They have fun, The house is chaotically beautiful and the whole family system flows. The oldest child aid she feels like she has always been there and that these were her parents. the youngest is bonded at the hip to the foster mother. they just fit with this family and not because it was easy but because these foster parents took the steps to be prepared. They waited until their home was fully approved before taking the girls but visited regularly with them, they went to therapy to prepare themselves for the secondary trauma the girls would bring, they worked with the schools and community partners and lined up services before the girls were placed, and they arranged for family therapy. A transition plan was made and followed and these foster parents could not love the children more. They made the girls a priority in their lives and in their families lives. They have been consistent and steadfast and I love that they have kept the siblings connected. It's important. I love that the birth mother gets updates on how they are doing and the girls were never made to feel less than. When speaking to the foster parents you know these are their kids because they wont just tell you they will show you."
"Elizabeth (Beth) Schneider is the type of Foster Parent that every agency hopes and prays for, and I should know, as I was her Foster Parent Support Worker. Over the years, Beth demonstrated the core characteristics of empathy, genuineness and respect when working with families. Beth has always been willing to go above and beyond and find creative ways to help families that demonstrated a focus on providing family centered approached when working with biological families. Beth has adopted five children from the Department of Children Services. Beth’s children vary in age from 1-10 and have an array of needs. Beth ensured that all appointments were completed and that each child had more than they could ever need to thrive. Beth encouraged and worked with birth families, believing that all people deserve a second chance and can be resilient. Although Beth has adopted, she still keeps in contact with birth families of her children. Beth was even requested to foster one of her daughters by the birth mother, as she had previously had adopted a sibling and had established a strong relationship with family members. Beth has been featured in the online platform Love What Matters and her story has encouraged countless other single parents to open their homes and hearts to foster care. I could not imagine a more deserving person of this award and hope that she will be considered."
The Adoptive Parent Award
While many in the general public tend to focus on the creation of a family when an adoption occurs, there is also loss/grief that is entangled in the process. Transfiguring Adoption wants to honor those adoptive parents who recognize this and strive to walk their children through processing their life events in a creative, loving and therapeutic ways. The Chris Rankin Award for the Best Adoptive Parent seeks to bring attention to these parents and encourage those who are striving to journey with children.
ABOUT THE AWARD NAME
Chris Rankin is an adult adoptee and actor who was adopted as an infant.
He was 16 years old when he sent off a letter asking for an audition to play Percy Weasley in “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone”. He went on to play the role for 11 years.
Transfiguring Adoption chose to name this annual award after Chris due to his passion for wanting other adoptive children to have a successful future.
Nominations for the Chris Rankin Award for Best Adoptive Parent are open to the public (form at top of page). Please note that nominees may be single parents or a couple.
Transfiguring Adoption leadership volunteers from across the U.S. will review the nominations and select three finalists to advance to the public voting phase. Public voting happens the second half of October and Nominators will be charged with getting people to vote for their nominee. The winner will be announced the 30th of October and will be featured in media releases and receive a special, personalized award and a Transfiguring Adoption gift package. All of our finalists will, of course, receive some awesome Transfiguring Adoption swag.
A strong nomination will provide great examples of these qualities shared by successful adoptive parents:
No parent is perfect. A great adoptive parent accepts this, owns up to their mistakes and learns from them.
Advocacy for Child Many of us dislike conflict. Many of us have overbooked schedules. Great adoptive parents will do what it takes for the best interest of their adoptive child.
Parenting a child from a traumatic background is “different” from traditional parenting. A great adoptive parent is continually trying to learn more about how to help children coping with difficult pasts.
Willingness to Change
A great adoptive parent is adaptable and willing to change how they parent in order to do the best for their child.
Creative – Think Outside the Box
A great adoptive parent needs more tricks up their sleeve than “traditional” parents. They use special games, activities, or bedtime books to help their child(ren) to thrive.
Nomination Period: September 14 – September 30, 2020
Finalists announced and public voting opens: October 2, 2020
Last day to vote: October 20, 2020
Winner Announced:October 30, 2020
2019 Winner – Chelsea Floro
Chelsea Floro is the recipient of the Chris Rankin Award for 2019. As we continue into 2020 let’s all remember that the adoptive or foster family in our lives could use an extra dose of understanding, a listening ear, and continuous encouragement.
SPECIAL THANKS FOR OUR PRIZES:
Transfiguring Adoption is a 501(c)3 organization. This contest does not discriminate against person due to race, gender, religion, etc. The staff and volunteers of Transfiguring Adoption reserve the right to disqualify a nomination/entry for any reason for which they see fit.