Help America's Premature Foster Care Infants !

by Angels In Waiting
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Help America's Premature Foster Care Infants !
Help America's Premature Foster Care Infants !
Help America's Premature Foster Care Infants !
Help America's Premature Foster Care Infants !
Help America's Premature Foster Care Infants !
Help America's Premature Foster Care Infants !
Help America's Premature Foster Care Infants !
Help America's Premature Foster Care Infants !
Help America's Premature Foster Care Infants !
Help America's Premature Foster Care Infants !
Help America's Premature Foster Care Infants !
Help America's Premature Foster Care Infants !
Help America's Premature Foster Care Infants !
Help America's Premature Foster Care Infants !
Help America's Premature Foster Care Infants !
Help America's Premature Foster Care Infants !
Help America's Premature Foster Care Infants !
Sammy Our Founder Son & Founder of SammysBill.org
Sammy Our Founder Son & Founder of SammysBill.org

That call from the special medical placement social worker almost always starts the same way, "Hi Mary, there is a baby that might be a good match for your family…. would you be interested in meeting her?" My last one was not any different.

The social worker attempted to summarize the story of Baby Sara, but about 2 minutes into the call, I knew little Sara had to come to our home. I knew she was a perfect match for our family. I answered yes. Sara needed a safe home. She needed to be cuddled and a good dose of love.

Most importantly, she needed a nurse. Her recovery was going to be a long road with potential twists and turns. She needed me.

Sara was an 11-month-old little girl who had been in the children's hospital for two months prior to the call. She had suffered non-accidental trauma, which is a nice way to describe physical abuse and violence. Sara suffered from brain damage from abusive head trauma, multiple fractured ribs, a fractured femur, and a lacerated liver. She was severely malnourished and very underweight. This precious angel had spent three weeks in the intensive care unit and four weeks in acute rehab. She was finally ready to be discharged from the hospital after two head surgeries to evacuate fluid and several abdominal surgeries. She had hydrocephalus. She had Incision wounds on her scalp that needed daily cleaning and dressing. She had lost almost all milestones. Sara could no longer sit independently or support her head upright. Her head was large in comparison to the rest of her tiny body. She could no longer suck on a bottle and was dependent on G-tube for nutrition. Sara was behind on her vaccines. Her recovery would require an intense, well-coordinated rehab program involving several specialists and therapists, including neurologists, gastrologists, and rehab medicine.

Before the trauma, Sara was developing like any other baby. She was crawling, starting to pull up on furniture to stand, bubbling and giggling. She was feeding from a bottle.

After Sara was born, she was discharged to her father. The mother had tested positive for drugs throughout the pregnancy. The father did not have a stable home and was staying in a motel. An altercation between the parents led to violence, and Sara was removed from the unsafe environment and placed with an aunt. Sara's abuse happened while in this first foster placement with a relative.

It sounds like a straightforward placement of a vulnerable child to a foster home, right?

Well, it has not always been so. It was not always a particular medical placement social worker calling a home of a pediatric nurse. It certainly was not straightforward 18 years ago when Sammy was born at 23 weeks gestation. But, it's nothing short of a miracle that he survived. And no, there was nothing like a law enabling preferential placement of medically fragile children to foster parents who are nurses!

Linda Conforti, founder and CEO of Angels In Waiting (AIW), did not get such a call. She just happened to be a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) nurse who was friends with the owner of the group home where Sammy was placed after 20 months of hospitalization. However, the events surrounding Sammy's health and adoption by Linda's family led to an epiphany. She knew that she needed to find other dedicated nurses to help her save as many medically fragile foster babies as possible, and Angels In Waiting was born.

Before AIW, it was incredibly difficult for CPS Social Workers to find appropriate foster placement homes for medically fragile children who need nursing care outside of the hospital. As a result, this led to prolonged hospital stays and placement into institutions. AIW recruits nurses who can provide both parental and nursing care to the children in a loving home until they are medically stable or find an appropriate permanent home. Many of these extraordinary nurses end up adopting the children. It has taken the focused and persistent advocacy work of Angels in Waiting to create a law that requires preferential placement of a medically fragile child to a foster home of a nurse. As a result, the medical social workers from the counties represented get access to the certified nurse foster parents that are licensed to care for these vulnerable children. AIW has collaborated with adoption and foster care agencies and the department of children and social services. To recruit nurses, train them, and create a system where the most vulnerable of babies who fall into the unfortunate state of needing to be in a foster home are matched and preferentially placed in a home of a nurse who is a parent as well as the child's nurse.

AIW, being a 501C3 organization, sorely depends on donors to support the ongoing recruitment, training, advocating, and support of nurses willing to be foster parents. But, unfortunately, they are often forced to take leave or stop working altogether to care for these children.
Your donation will be utilized in the ongoing projects that include and are not limited to:

Expansion of AIW's program is needed in more counties throughout California. We are recruiting and training more nurses. Marin County, located in the Northwest part of the San Francisco Bay area, has reached out and requested more nurses. Your donation will allow more nurses to confidently answer "yes" when that call comes.

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Angel Zoey
Angel Zoey

For the past eight weeks, in a medical facility, surrounded by covid-patients, worrying families, and over-worked doctors and nurses, Casey has been fighting for her foster daughter's future. 

In hopes of finding a long-term solution for her 2-year-old daughter Zoey's condition, Casey has embarked on an arduous journey that has taken her and Zoey thousands of miles away from home to an unfamiliar city; all to ensure that Zoey has access to the best medical attention and with it a chance at a thriving childhood.

The story starts, unbelievably, about 20 years before Zoey was born. 

It started with the adoption of Casey's first daughter, who is now 22 years old. She was six months old when Casey brought her home from her foster family. 

Years after the adoption, Casey was asked if she would consider foster care. She took time to talk with her family, and with their support, she accepted the position as a foster mom.

Casey was then introduced to Linda Conforti of Angels In Waiting. Linda was very transparent about the pros and cons of caring for medically fragile children. She told Casey that this job is a 24-hour a day commitment. As a "Nurse, Foster Mom," Linda explained that" Casey would have the opportunity to help many babies thrive! She would be a very integral part of helping infant's manage their complex medical conditions. Casey's unwavering commitment, and love for children made it impossible to pass on such an unbelievable opportunity. She could always have babies and children to love on and 

to care for, and she would also be involved in their daily medical care. 

Casey's family expanded with twin girls, born at 24 weeks gestational age. She hesitated to take two babies, but could not say no. These twin girls had several doctor appts. And they were hospitalized many times while growing with medical conditions. Casey weathered the storms with the babies and ended up adopting them. She couldn't imagine life without them.

Recently, Casey and her family again chose to love and dedicate the needed nursing care for another medically fragile foster child in need- 2-year-old Zoey. 

Zoey has the unbridled joy of a 2-year-old, a fragile angel who suffers from an overactive pancreas. This condition produces too much insulin for her tiny body to handle, which has caused a series of health complications that have led to constant nursing care and interventions to help stabilize her vastly fluctuating blood sugars. 

Zoey needs acute nursing care, and we must monitor her 24 hours a day. She carries a feeding bag on her back at all times, which provides her nourishment. 

Zoey's doctor was able to find a hospital where they specialize in her very rare condition. Casey excitedly jumped at the chance to help yet another child thrive by receiving the medical care necessary for her survival. Casey believes that with the proper treatment, Zoey's condition can be tremendously improved.

Casey has recently traveled thousands of miles across the country with Zoey to receive the best medical care for her condition and a possible long-term solution for her rare disease (Congenital Hyper- Insulinemia). The journey has been long and costly; everything from transportation, to sleeping arrangements and meals, has been incredibly uncertain. The struggles of the covid-19 pandemic only exaggerate their already arduous journey. 

Casey and her entire family are doing their very best to give Zoey the best possible future. Every member of the family has made sacrifices for this sweet bundle of joy.

The cost, both financially and emotionally, has been significant for Zoey's devoted family, but this family shows no signs of discouragement. They will not give up the fight for baby Zoey's life and her future. They know a better life is in store for little Zoey and whatever it takes to help her get the medical care she needs is precisely what they intend to do.

Casey's passion and commitment to her children is unwavering. 

"God has placed all of these children in my life because they need love and care, and I love each of them so very much. I love being a nurse, foster mother, and an adoptive mom. I love helping medically fragile children to live- happy, healthy, and fulfilling lives. So, I will continue to fight, not only for Zoey, but for all of the little souls that God sends our way." 

We seek donations to offset Casey's expenses and lost wages, as she cares for her precious angel, Zoey. Casey sits 16 hours per day in an uncomfortable hospital chair, thousands of miles away from her home in an unfamiliar hospital during our growing pandemic to secure Zoey's future for a happy childhood. Please pray for Casey and Zoey, and if you are capable, please help support Casey and the generous heart of a nurse who will go the extra mile to save a child.

*Names changed upon request

One  More Check Up For Zoey
One More Check Up For Zoey
On The Road Again...
On The Road Again...

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Lavender
Lavender

My name is Lavender, and no one expected me to be alive.

A Sad Bah Humbug Start, Huh?

I was born in a tent on the side of a city street to my mom, who was homeless. Mom probably didn't know how to care for me or just couldn't. I desperately needed medical attention, but I had to lie in the tent for 10 hours before another homeless person who cared found me and took me to the hospital.

Joy To The World!

Now the doctors could fix me up, and I'd be A-OK.

Ha! I Wish, But The Grinch Had Other Plans.

Half my brain and one kidney had died due to my lack of oxygen. Doctors put me on life support, and, at some point, not having too much faith in me, the hospital staff decided to remove my breathing tube. That should have been the end of me. But, God had faith and hope for me - I did not need their ventilator- I kept breathing on my own!

Four months later, while I am lying there, needing a home. Linda, the founder of Angels In Waiting, was telling her nurse friend Julie and her husband Morgan, both outstanding resource foster parents, about me. 

Linda had previously inspired the couple to become foster parents by showing them, up close and personal, the positive impact loving parents can have on abused and neglected foster care children- like me.

Being a NICU nurse, Julie understood the type of intensive care I would need once I left the hospital. Immediately, both my new Nurse-Mommy and Morgan wanted to help me and give me a home. The doctors wanted them to know the odds were stacked against me. But, they did not care about my low odds and took me in any-way! Knowing, I needed their Love and Nurse Julie's impeccable nursing skills. They explained to my new found family that I would probably not have a normal life. At the very least, I needed 12 hours of dialysis daily and would need to be tube-fed. They also thought I wouldn't be able to communicate due to visual and hearing impairments, and I'd be in a wheelchair for the rest of my life. Blah, Blah, Blah -Insert Eye Roll.

 Gosh. The Halls Were Deck Against Me.

Julie and Morgan had a huge decision to make. They discussed it with their two teenage boys, and Hallelujah, they all decided that they wanted me to join their family -FOREVER!

 Life Started Looking Merrier.

Julie contacted Olive Crest, their foster agency, and said, "our house is ready, and we're interested in caring for this kiddo. Can you please help us?"

And they did! With help from Olive Crest and a week of training on the dialysis I would need, Julie and Morgan took me across the threshold into their home and, shortly after, into their hearts.

2 ½ Years And A Blessing Later

You're not going to believe this. I have surpassed everyone's expectations! I received a kidney transplant after being on dialysis since birth. Mom says my resilience and my sparkling smile is impressive! I can now bear weight on my legs, sit up on my own, and communicate through sounds and sign language. How are those odds for you? I'm blessed, happy, and I laugh a lot.

Mom and dad have adopted me, and I'm super thrilled because I can't imagine where my life would without them! Mom keeps saying, I am a blessing, and that giving me a loving home has changed their lives. I hope that one day, I will tell them that they are my biggest blessing too -you just wait and see!

I'll need medical care for the rest of my life, but I will continue to defy my odds. I'm a fighter. I'm a survivor, and my Angels In Waiting family has helped me thrive. 

 Make It A Giving Christmas And Help An Angel In Need.

I'm not alone. Many infants and children like me are waiting for a Nurse-Foster family to discover, love, and save them. I know Auntie Linda and her incredible team of nurses take care of many kids like me, but they need your help. This Christmas, please help them by donating to the Angels In Waiting on GlobalGiving. So more infants and children can tell their miracle stories and heal through the hearts and hands of our dedicated nurses.

 

BTW: Tell Aunt Linda -Lavender sent you.

xoxo - Lavender

Yep I'm Blessed!
Yep I'm Blessed!
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Matthew
Matthew

While it may seem like the world is in chaos this year, the critical work to save America's Foster Care Infants and Children has not (and cannot) stop.

This is a challenging time, financially and emotionally, for everyone—but every single gift helps end heartbreaking situations of child cruelty and neglect. 

 Your generosity towards GivingTuesday and throughout the holiday season ensures that we will fight to protect all foster care infants and children will continue, no matter what lies ahead.

 Medically fragile Foster Care Children are harder to place with the average foster parent. They are often left alone in hospitals and institutions and become the "forgotten souls of our society." Let's not allow this to be their story. They are Matthew, Dick, Stacy, Faith, Jeremiah...they are our little angels in waiting. 

We recruit nurses to provide consistent care to save our most vulnerable infants and children by changing State laws, providing in-home nursing care, and eliminating long-term Foster Care placements. Our Nurse-Resource-Adopt Program offers the ideal start to a happy and healthy childhood. Join us and help a child -

How Can You Help?

  1. Please donate your hard-earned money directly to GlobalGiving and our cause.

      2. Are you shopping on Amazon this holiday season?

Did you know that if you turn on AmazonSmile while shopping online and choose Angels In Waiting Charity, Amazon will donate to our charity at no cost to you? Yup!
 1. TURN ON AmazonSmile when you sign in to shop. 2. Shop as you would normally. 3. Be happy- you've helped angels in waiting. 

We have so much to be thankful for! We have found awesome  nurse-foster parents who have opened their hearts and home to our angels. We've also been blessed by the supporters  like you, who donate, give of their time and resources to help us save the babies, infants and children who come into our care. Thank you!!

Nurse Linda
Nurse Linda
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Please Support Sammy's Bill
Please Support Sammy's Bill

Since its inception in 2005, Angels in Waiting has steadfastly been fulfilling its mandate of recruiting skilled nurses to foster and adopt severely sick or traumatized foster children, known as 'medically fragile,' who have been abandoned or forcibly removed by unfit families.

The 501©(3) charity was born out of an epiphany brought about by the miraculous events surrounding Sammy, the son of the charity's founder- Linda West-Conforti. 

Sammy's birth and survival is nothing short of a miracle, having started life at the much-too early stage of a 23-week old premature baby, whose mother tried to end his life with an abortive concoction. The move caused a premature rupture of her placenta, which landed her in the hospital. Sammy was forced to begin life as a 17-ounce medically fragile preemie who tested positive for Methamphetamines and Barbiturates. He was taken from his mother and placed in the care of Children's Services until his mother tested negative for the drugs found in her baby.

Sammy fought desperately for life, as much as his under-developed brain and nervous system would allow. His brain, at 23 weeks old, would not even remind him when to breath!

The next 20 months in the hospital under the care of heroic medical personnel were crucial for Sammy. He underwent numerous surgeries, chemotherapy, and five flat-line code resuscitations, all before the age of 2.

Miraculously Sammy's health improved enough for release from the hospital. He was placed in a group home where he, despite his fragile health condition, bonded with other children, and had a normal life semblance.

He was later introduced to Linda and her husband because the group home's owner knew Linda was a neonatal intensive care nurse and could give Sammy the special attention he required.

Linda fell in love with Sammy's fighting spirit, knowing that if she didn't adopt him, he would become another sad foster care statistic, probably moving erratically through the system, given the in-depth level of care and attention he needed. Linda could not let Sammy go, and her faith would soon show her why- not long after.

At two years old and shortly after his hospital discharge, Sammy and his new mommy-nurse, Linda, were having a picnic beside a marble shrine at Our Lady of the Lake Church in Lake Arrowhead. Sammy seeing the statue, pointed to it and announced that he knew her; her name is Mary, and she and angels often visited and played with him while he was ill. Linda was shocked, but this confirmed what she realized all along; that Sammy was a miracle sent, especially for her. Although she believed this with all her heart, when he said that other babies like him needed help, Linda knew that Sammy was sent to guide her further to her purpose.

Linda knew that she needed to find other dedicated nurses to help her save as many medically fragile foster babies as possible, and Angels In Waiting was born.

Since then, the charity has recruited over 500 nurses tasked with caring for medically fragile infants, children, and youth until they find their forever homes. Angels In Waiting boasts a 90 percent adoption rate.

Linda has also authored a state law that she helped to pass in 2014. The law requires that Priority Placement of a medically fragile foster care population is assigned to independent nurse providers. Ensuring these precious angels get medical attention and the love they need to soar and thrive.

Sammy has become a champion for viable 24-week premature babies who can't voice their wish to live due to his past—using the brilliant example set by his mother, Linda. Sammy has embarked upon an endeavor of his own, "Saving the Ones' He Can," by offering women who are on the cusp of aborting their late-term pregnancy under state law, another viable option. With the aid of advancement in neonatal medicine, pregnant women who are on the verge of terminating their late-term pregnancy and the life of their potentially viable 24-week fetus can now know that Sammy's Bill, once introduced, would give women another option.

A woman's choice to end her late-term pregnancy, but not the life of her potentially viable fetus. An option to give her fetus a fighting chance, but not raise it! To help ensure these medically fragile babies continue saved from Sammy's Bill. Angels In Waiting will have nurturing homes with dedicated nurses waiting for these little angels. Along with foster family agencies like Olive Crest, who will also be equipped to provide care and find permanent loving homes for our premature preemies once released from the hospitals.’

Just like Sammy brought Linda and her family a renewed purpose and passion, so too have Angels In Waiting brought hope, life, and love to hundreds of medically fragile babies. Hopefully, we will soon be able to give women another option, and 24-week preemies a fighting chance at life.  Learn more at: https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/saving-viable-24-week-preemies/

Sammy's Story
Sammy's Story
Saving the Ones We Can
Saving the Ones We Can
Sammy At Two Years Old
Sammy At Two Years Old
Sammy Today
Sammy Today

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Organization Information

Angels In Waiting

Location: Blue Jay, CA - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Linda West-Conforti RN
Blue Jay, Ca United States
$80,240 raised of $120,000 goal
 
1,966 donations
$39,760 to go
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