I am thrilled to join the Guatadopt team to share my experiences over the years with giving back and share opportunities for you to make a difference looking forward. Over the years, Kevin and Kelly have posted many opportunities to give back to organizations that impact the lives of Guatemalans--many of those opportunities related to the work of the Cincinnati Friends Through Guatemalan Adoption (FTGA). I thought I would take a moment in my first post to share the history of FTGA's Giving Back program and then give all of you information looking forward on how to keep the Guatadopt community aware of future opportunities to give back!
Where It All Started?
As many of you may know, our son Marty is adopted from Guatemala and our process took place during the Hague of 2003 experience. Needless to say, his case was not a quick one. He came home at 13 months old and I had visited him five times during that long year of waiting. Little did I know that would be a blessing in disguise as I spent each trip also venturing out to learn more about his birth country. I knew I would fall in love with my little guy but I never anticipated my love for the people of Guatemala! By the end of that year, there was not doubt that I would be forever connected to the people of Guatemala.
I didn’t even make it a year before I returned. This time I took the trip with good friend, fellow adoptive mom, and founder of FTGA Aimee Davis. We spent 10 days visiting 14 non-profit organizations doing great work throughout the country. Our mission—learn about the organizations so we could come back to share our knowledge and experience with local families with a request to find just one organization that “spoke” to their family and support it long-term.
Well, we met that goal and so much more! In the last 10 years, we have led numerous Moms on a Mission, Teens on a Mission, and Reconnections trips back to Guatemala. We have raised well over $500,000 with the support of local families, foundations, and participation of adoptive families from all over the US in our giving back projects. Most of all we have raised awareness of many organizations doing fabulous work in Guatemala.
As you may know, I am also on the Board of Directors for Behrhorst Partners for Development (www.behrhorst.org) and Kevin and I will continue to share opportunities to get involved with projects that support the work of BPD. I will also share other giving back opportunities connected to FTGA.
My hope is that Guatadopt will also become a place for others to share local events happening in your area of interest to the Guatemala adoption community. If you have an event you would like posted on this site related to a gathering of adoptive families or a giving back opportunity, I invite you to email the information to me at sonya_fultz at yahoo.com and I will post it to the site. Together we can keep our children and families connected to a country that means so much to all of us.
I look forward to seeing the impact we can collectively make to improve the lives of those in need in Guatemala.