Our mission is to support foster and adoptive children to encourage the success of the children and their families.
In 2001, a family at Heart of the Rockies Christian Church pursued the adoption of an amazing little girl. While waiting for the adoption to finalize, they provided her foster care. Another family from the church soon noticed how demanding and stressful 24/7 foster care is and offered their friends an evening of childcare and a dinner out. This one act of kindness generated many more, and with that focus on the needs of foster and adoptive families Kids at Heart was born.
Just this year, Kids at Heart has served over 440 children who do not often get to be a kid at heart.
With a family of 8 adopted children time and resources are extremely limited. Our girls were able to experience the Camp Fundango this year at very reasonable prices thanks to a scholarships. This opportunity gave the girls a chance to experience camping with peers, meet new friends, and learn about survival in the outdoors. They LOVED it, and can't wait until next year to attend either as a participant or as a counselor. This external support gave opportunities that our family could not provide. Thank you so much! - Sandy
My name is Jessicca. I am a full-time working mom and have 3 young kiddos. I am not sure what the definition of "normal" is but it certainly does not apply to my "Unique" would be a better way to describe us. My husband and I adopted all three of our children from foster care. Not one at a time but all of them at once. When our trio came to us they were 18 months, 5 and 6. I will spare the details but these kiddos were not given a good start into this world. They came from abuse, neglect, trauma, alcoholism, mental illness, homelessness, uncertainty and not knowing where their next meal would come from. No child should endure any of these things…let alone all of them. As a result, our kiddos struggle in many different areas in their life: socially, academically, mentally, physically and especially emotionally. These kiddos had no reason to trust or love us or anyone else that crossed their paths. Our kiddos have been with us for four years now. Children are resilient and our kiddos are a true testament to that belief. However, trauma, neglect and abuse will forever mark our children in certain ways. Some areas of life have gotten easier for our family but we will never be a "normal" family. Due to our children's past, we have to continually prove to them that we will protect and love them unconditionally. We can't erase their past but it always will be a part of our lives.
Although we love Colorado, we have no family in this state. Therefore, our support system isn't very large. Parenting hurt children is very rewarding but it also is very challenging. Anyone that is takes care of our children, whether they are a teacher, special educator, daycare provider, camp counselor or babysitter, they must be prepared to deal with the aftermaths of what my children have endured. They must understand attachment struggles, Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, ADHD and extreme triggers that come with children that have been hurt.
Often times as an adoptive mom, I feel like much of the rest of the world doesn't understand our struggles. It usually is only the ones that are in the same boat as us that truly "get it." My husband and I don't have the luxury of going on weekly dates. My days need to be very planned and structured for our children's peace of mind. I can't drop by a friend's house for a cup of coffee without my child exploded due to the unknowns.
I love our children with my entire heart. I love them for their personalities, quirks and passion to be fighters in their battles. Yet, I am human and I also need breaks…alone time, time with my spouse, time with friends, time to recharge my battery. I rarely get most of those items but when I do, I am so very grateful for the people that make them happen.
Kids at Heart is a program that is near and dear to our family. It is a program that accepts us with all of our uniqueness. It is a place that our kiddos are not the outcasts but instead amongst kiddos and families that are just like us. It is our safe haven. It is a place we they trust, love, have fun and truly look forward to being part of such an amazing program. The staff is kind, understanding, patient and loving. Whether is in an event for the evening or a weekend camp, each moment is appreciated in ways that only foster/adoptive families can truly understand. We get to network with other families, make new friends and build lasting relationships. It truly does take a village to raise a child and we are so grateful for the staff and supporters of Kids at Heart. The time, money and support of their programs are appreciated in more ways that I could ever express. - Jessica
Our family has benefited from KAH for 6 years. We walked the scary journey of fostering our first son through foster care in April of 2009. We were afraid to leave him with anyone, and of course, he was afraid to be left - after all, adults were not to be trusted. Being welcomed by familiar faces each month has not only allowed my husband and I connect on a regular basis without the addition of 5 (we have 5 kids now!) sweet little faces eagerly awaiting and demanding our attention, but it has also allowed our adoptive and biological children to see firsthand that they are not alone. Lots of families like ours are nearby and are valuable to the community! As the layers of the effects of abuse began to unfold for our children, KAH was there to listen to us as we changed parenting techniques and requested unique ways of interacting with some of our children who struggle with trauma and attachment. When I contacted the director, she not only listened to the special needs of our children, but she supported and empathized with the real life struggle of raising children who are faced with wading through the heaviness of loss and trauma. We have always felt confident that our children's needs would be met (both adoptive and bio) with compassion and authentic love from the welcome to the "stamp check" upon leaving. Thank you KAH for what you do - my husband and I continue to look forward to our "date nights", and my children look forward to the KAH welcome that is always present when they arrive! - Andrea