Blue Ribbons in Acknowledge Cville Children in Foster Care
Charlottesville's downtown mall is looking a little brighter thanks to hundreds of blue ribbons.
Be on the lookout for blue ribbons tied to trees on Charlottesville's downtown mall. Each one represents a child in foster care in the Charlottesville area. One foster parent is sharing her inspiring story.
Nita Graves says just weeks after she and her husband welcomed their 9- and 12-year-old foster children into their home, the little things were already helping them grow into a family unit.
"As you're reading a story book to them or they're reading to you at night and they lay their head on your shoulder, as you're sitting at the table and you're holding hands and praying together and they hold a little bit tighter the next time, and then they hug you for the first time when you come home and say ‘I missed you today,'" Graves said.
Graves says the look in her foster children's eyes and the way they say thank you tells her what her support means to them.
"I'll never forget the first dinner out to Red Robin. It was just like ‘thank you so much for taking us out to this meal, this family time was wonderful.' That was huge to me," Graves said.
Friday people tied 227 ribbons around trees on Charlottesville's downtown mall - one for every child in foster care in Charlottesville and Albemarle County.
Organizers say they hope the ribbons will inspire more people like Graves to make a difference in a child's life.
"We love to have folks from all different walks of life be foster parents. I don't say that there's any one particular type of person that makes a good foster parent, I think the more diversity we have the better it is for our kids," said Allison Saunier, with the Central Virginia Adoption Awareness Coalition.
Graves says even though foster care comes with its challenges, she and her husband know it's their calling.
"These children are such a joy that you don't have to question it. You just say ‘we were born to do this' and you just do it," she said.
Graves says her foster care experience has inspired her to write children's books. She hopes her story will inspire other people to think about becoming foster parents.
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