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Hello DHS,

November is National Adoption Month, and I want to take this opportunity to say thank you to all of the DHS staff and partners who support the work of finding forever homes for children in Oregon. As the mom of two kiddos, I can attest to the fact that one of life's greatest gifts is giving a child a home, a family to love and a safe place to grow up.

Many of us at DHS also know that every year hundreds of Oregon children await adoption or are in foster care, looking forward to permanent homes and families of their very own. Through adoption and guardianship, Oregonians can provide safe, permanent homes for children who need them. Lois Day, our Child Welfare Director, reminded me to pass along that while we often think of adoption as a singular event in people's lives, it's really a lifelong journey. It's also true that adoptive families come in many forms, just like all families, and that they choose to adopt for different reasons -- but for most of the families I've met, the decision to adopt is an expression of their compassion for children who would otherwise not have a permanent family.

This weekend I attended an amazing event in honor of National Adoption Month and had the chance to personally thank parents who have opened their hearts and homes through adoption or becoming foster parents to provide quality temporary care to children in crisis. Many asked me to communicate their thanks to the agency and to others across Oregon for their support for foster and adoptive families.

This week, as we observe National Adoption Month and think about all that we are thankful for, it is my hope that we can all take time to honor the loving embrace of adoptive families and the affirming role that "home" brings to the lives of children. During this week of the Thanksgiving holiday, on a personal note, I also want to say thank you to each of you, inside and outside DHS, who work on behalf of our clients and our communities. Thank you!

Have a great week and a wonderful holiday.

~ Erinn