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We Can’t Fix Everything, But We Can Fix Dinner – The Experience

Something about the Fall season always reminds me of coming together again. Maybe it’s a natural progression of changing seasons from frolicking in the great outdoors and sunshine. Slowly, as the temperatures cool, it naturally brings us back indoors and inevitably closer to those we love. 

One thing for certain in our home: it’s the season to turn back on the over and revisit family favorite meals. And speaking of food, I can’t say if it’s the meal or the memories shared over a meal I love more. And maybe that’s the magic of the season. 

Here’s a Blue Zones Lake County Project-approved experience that just might change a life. In August of 2022, we got an email we had greatly anticipated. We had just been approved by the Families Together Program to adopt a foster family.

Our car pulled out of the driveway one bright sunny August day. It might as well have been the holiday season with the audible merriment and laughter coming from our car as we drove the two miles that separated our home from our adopted family’s house. Every hand was full of bags and hot pans as we made our way to an unfamiliar front porch. 

With smiles, cheer, and laughter, we were instantly friends, and no one knew we were complete strangers only a moment ago. After a short time and before the food got cold, we left empty-handed and returned home with fuller hearts than before.

And here are what some of our year together looked like. In October, we went trick-or-treating together. In November, we did all their Thanksgiving baking for them. In December, we went to the Kelseyville Christmas parade together, and closer to Christmas, we bought all the kids gift certificates to a local coffee shop and holiday cookies. In February, we dropped off sugar cookies, frosting, and decorations with their meal and did the same for Easter. 

By this time, we had truly adopted this family. We were far beyond the six-month agreement with the program, and our relationship had become a devoted friendship. Finally, in July, we hosted an un-birthday party for them because we had missed everyone’s birthday that year. Our un-birthday party came with dinner, cake, decorations, and a gift certificate to the Kids Zone at Konocti Vista Casino. Sadly for us and happily for the foster kids, it also became our farewell gift because the kids were going back home to their mom. 

And what did we get from our year together? A lot of laughter, a lot of tears, both happy and sad, lots of photos of the kids enjoying our meals and cookies, and a lot of smiles that I will never forget. They know that although our paths have gone in different directions now, they will never forget that a family still loves them. A little piece of us will always go with them. 

What are my regrets? Well, I didn’t do everything I had planned for the family. Also, I worry that our paths may not cross again. But one thing is for certain: I have no regrets about giving them my time.

If you would like to volunteer to Join The Families Together Program, visit their website. 

You can also reach them via phone at: (720) 690-5037 or via email at: kschnittker@project127.org

Trudy Wakefield

Trudy is the owner and editor for The Bloom. The Bloom's dedicated to showcasing all the good parts of life. If it's good news, you'll probably find it here.

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