Win a Winner!
Writers & Photographers
Berlitz Summer Camp
by Raewyn Smith
Christine Devine, Emmy-winning news anchor at Fox 11, met Jared Thomas when he as 10 years old, waiting to find his “forever family.” To Devine, he was another child featured on her segment Wednesday’s Child, which showcases hard-to-place children from L.A. County every Wednesday and Sunday. That is, until he burrowed his way into her heart.
Jared called a year after his adoption to thank Devine for her help, and ended up as her Adoption Ambassador, accompanying her to numerous award ceremonies and events for the show. In June 2009, Jared died in a car accident, but his memory, and the flame he sparked in Devine, lives on.
“I saw that we were touching lives and I saw how the kids looked up to me, and that we were fighting for them,” Devine says.
Every year, more than 50,000 children are adopted from the United States public system. Many older kids, sibling sets, and children with special needs are considered “hard to place”
Wednesday’s Child and Devine showcase the children’s stories on air and take the children on a “dream day” to show them that even if they do not get placed, “someone cares about their hopes and dreams.”
“I love the dream days,” Devine says. “What we’ve done over the years has grown into this. We try to make it a day they’ll never forget.”
Dream days are anything the children want them to be. Devine has found herself at pumpkin patches, fashion week, and even Laker’s practices with the children. For many of these children, their dream days are a bright spot in lives that have been tumultuous at best.
Not only is it a bright spot for these children, according to Devine, “It’s a bright spot in the newscast where you know you’ll be uplifted.”
Each episode shows one important case, carefully selected by an LA. County coordinator who knows all of the children’s details about court dates and availability.
To date, more than 400 children have been adopted through Wednesday’s Child; with a much larger spillover affect that result in adoptions outside of the program. Devine has won many awards for her work as a philanthropist journalist including the National Gracie Allen award by the American Women in Radio and Television for a special she wrote, anchored and co-produced on breast cancer and, “Angels in Adoption” from the U.S. Congress.
Devine advises: For families looking into adopting,
Before a viewer can adopt a Wednesday’s Child child they must be certified and ready to have a child in their homes. Devine warns that the process may take up to a year, so interested parents should start the process as soon as they can.
There are other ways for families to help out, including mentoring, volunteering and donating to toy drives.
This year, the nonprofit Motorcycle and Car Club, 1916 mc/cc reached out to Wednesday’s Child for a toy drive. It is scheduled for Dec. 4 at Corky’s in Van Nuys and includes a poker run, music and a BBQ lunch. Entry fee is one new unwrapped toy and a small fee for the lunch. For more information, visit their website http://1916events.org.
More information for Wednesday’s Child can be found at http://wednesdayschild.adopt.org/. The segment runs Sundays and Wednesdays on the 10p.m. news.
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