Fairfax County 2012 Foster Parents of the Year Randy and Marisa Smith were honored at a recent gala recognizing outstanding foster families from the National Capital Region.
The Smiths were recognized for effortlessly "bridging the gap" between their foster children and the youngsters' birth families during placement and after reunification, according to Kamilah Bunn, Child Welfare Program Manager for the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments. "They continue to be involved in these children's lives, celebrating with their school progress and other special occasions," she said.
The couple has three adult children and a teenager of their own. They are also active in the Fairfax County Foster Care and Adoption Association (FCFCAA), having served as the organization's chair and co-chair for two years.
"If these parents could package their energy as vitamins, I believe they would make a big profit," said Penny Gross, vice chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. "I don't know many people who have raised three children to adulthood and still have a teenager at home who are willing and able to be great foster parents to very young children," she said. "We thank them for sharing their time, talents, their gift of parenting and their love with our foster children."
The gala was held at the Grand Hyatt Washington, and included a 20th anniversary salute to Wednesday's Child. The weekly segment on NBC4 hosted by Barbara Harrison has found permanent adoptive families for hundreds of children in the area. Wednesday's Child is sponsored by the station, the Freddie Mac Foundation and the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments.
Those interested in learning more about becoming a foster parent are invited to call 703-324-7639 or visit Kids Need Families Like Yours: Foster-Adopt Recruitment.