The Rye Brook-based agency called Forever Families Through Adoption, Inc. (FFTA) will hold a fundraiser and informational gathering tonight with gourmet food tasting catered by the Group in Rye and a silent auction from 7-10 p.m. at the , Rye Brook.
Rye Brook’s FFTA founders, Joy Goldstein, a social worker, and her husband, Michael, a lawyer who is also a social worker, have helped more than 2,500 children find permanent loving homes. The Goldsteins and their state-authorized FFTA agency have dedicated their lives to helping birth parents, adoptive parents and, of course, children.
Their labor of love comes from having been there on a personal as well as professional level. They are the proud parents of three adopted children now in their 20s –Brian (who works for the ASPCA), Scott (a chef in Irvington) and David, an English instructor at Columbia. The kids all attended Rye Brook schools where Michael and Joy have lived for more than 26 years.
“Although Michael and I married in 1978, we decided to wait until he had graduated from law school to begin building a family,” Joy recalled.
In 1981, Joy became pregnant for the first time –only to lose the child early into the pregnancy. The same thing happened through several more pregnancies.
“I had the ability to become pregnant, I wasn’t able to carry a pregnancy to full term,” Joy recalled, noting miscarriages that included an especially heart-wrenching second-trimester miscarriage. “We knew we were meant to form a family by adoption.”
That’s what they did. And that experience led to the founding of FFTA in 2007, building on work they had been doing since the 1980s.
Most of the babies they have helped place through Michael’s law practice are healthy Caucasian infants, but the Goldsteins also have a particular fondness for harder-to-place children. This group includes those that have been drug or alcohol-exposed, conceived after rape or incest, the offspring of incarcerated mothers, or needy kids of black or bi-racial parentage.
FFTA works hard to actively identify those children seeking adoption. They then work hard to find permanent loving homes for them through Michael’s legal expertise and Joy’s earth mother instincts as FFTA executive director.
The FFTA goal is to find a home for every child eligible for permanent adoption regardless of age, racial or ethnic background, or physical or emotional challenges, according to Ms. Goldstein.
They work closely with national, state and local agencies to facilitate the safe placement of all children eligible for adoption, including those with special needs, she said.
Another motivation for starting FFTA was to help children from the Dominican Republic.
“When Americans consider adopting a child from another country, they usually think of Russia, China or other areas in the Pacific Rim," said Ms. Goldstein. "So although FFTA can help guide families through the process of adopting children from anywhere in the world, we have chosen to focus the program on children much closer to home.”
There’s more, lots more, about FFTA, including an adoption education program in Rye schools, and the testimony of local adoptive parents such as Rye’s Lisa McKiernan, one of the owners of the Pearl Restaurant management group, owners of Rye’s , , and among others.
Learn more about FFTA at the upcoming Crawford Park event Thursday, Oct. 13. Catered by Pearl Restaurant.
Further information: FFTA, 920 Bowman Ave., Rye Brook; phone: 914-939-1180; email:adopt@ForeverFamiliesThroughAdoption.org