Volume XI, Issue 12: September 23, 2011

A Moment With Noëmi 
Last Friday, Exchange Student Noëmi told the club about her exploits of the previous weekend. That Saturday, she and the Arcata High School Tennis Team played against their counterparts from St. Bernard’s. The team won 7-2, and Noëmi won her individual match. 
The following day, she took a walk through Redwood Park, and then on Thursday, the Club had a welcoming barbecue in Noëmi’s honor. She had a great time at the event, which was held at Moonstone Beach.
President Scott showed us the Lip Dub that several Sunrisers participated in recently. The video was created both to promote the City of Fortuna and its River Lodge, as well as the Rotary District Conference to be held next June.  
Patrick McCarthy, Cam Appleton, and President Scott joined new Adopt-a Highway Jefe Kyle Visser cleaned up our stretch of Samoa Boulevard recently. The crew escaped without a reportable tick encounter, and came up five bucks richer!
Dates to remember:  Saturday, October 1st, the Arcata Plaza will be festooned with pastel images on the sidewalk, all to help Northcoast Children’s Services. The annual Pastels on the Plaza begins in the morning, and students from the Arcata Arts Institute will work together to create a work of art on our Club’s behalf … And following our morning meeting on October 7th, we will begin another year of Backpacks for Kids. We will be filling backpacks with food for needy students from Arcata Elementary School. We also need volunteers to pick up and deliver the backpacks throughout the year. 

Also last week, Bryan Reeser and Jim Maher presented a check to Barbara Rabia O’Brian in support of the Roshni Centre for Women. The Centre, in Pakistan’s Swat Valley, to help the women of the Swat Valley become self-sufficient. (For more information, check the July 15th edition of the Sunrise Spirit.)

“No Way Me” was the title of the slide that Bob Johnson, our Club’s Chief Recognizer, started with last Friday. Apparently, there have been some football-based brainwashing attempts recently, directed at Exchange Student Noëmi. Apparently, she was clad in a Steelers jersey when she left Donnie Rosebrook’s home to spend a short time with Lori Breyer’s family. However, upon her return to Chez Rosebrook, she was wearing a Raiders shirt. Apparently, Donnie said that she would have to sleep outside, but Noëmi told us, “I snuck back in.” Noëmi is learning about American football and the loyalty it inspires. She plans to attend a Raiders game in person soon. Fortunately, their opponent is not the Steelers.

On Friday, Kevin Collier was “in the house”, so Bob recognized him for his anniversary. Kevin and Kimberlee have been married 10 years now. However, with a 3-year old and a 5-year old to take care of, the celebration was muted, with plans for something bigger deferred for the time being.

Charlie Jordan was out of town and husband Mark Ritz was in town on the day of their 9th anniversary. What’s a girl to do? Charlie’s solution was to fly Mark up to Portland to be at the side of his bride. They celebrated with lots of friends and by hiking. 

A quiet, romantic stroll along the San Francisco Waterfront was a highlight of the anniversary of Joyce Hinrichs and Steven Watson. The couple has been married for 26 years.

Bob recognized himself as well, since he and wife Susan recently celebrated their anniversary. Bob said that they have enjoyed 29 years of wedded bliss. The catch is that this was their 31st anniversary. Still, that’s 93.54838709677419% of their time together (thus far). If you grade on a curve, they’re at the top of the class (and the class at the top)!

Kevin Collier was asked to stand up again. This time, Bob recognized him for his birthday. Even though Kevin worked late, he did manage to squeeze in a bit of celebration.

Bob called upon Your Editor to discuss the  recent CD Release Party held at Mosgo’s by his band Two-Car Garage. I told him that the event saw several fine musicians helping us out – local legend Donna Landry (who also performs on the album), opening act Josephine Johnson (recently named the top solo musician by the North Coast Journal), drummer Will Startare, and guitarist/keyboard player Andrew Goff. However, the best part for me was when our usual bass player, TCG co-founder Roger Woods, played the bassimer. We still needed a bassist, so we had Honorary Sunriser (and my son) Brody Johnson sit in. And he was great! We sold quite a few CDs, but there are more left. If you’re interested, contact me.

There are, of course, other fine musicians in and close to our Club – Bob Johnson and his band The Living Rooms were scheduled to play in Blue Lake that evening at the Mad River Brewery Outdoor Concert. [I attended, and they were excellent!]

Guest Speaker: Cindy Savage on the State of Adoption
Cindy Savage is the Executive Director of Adoption Horizons, Humboldt County’s only licensed private adoption agency. Cindy is also an adoptive parent, and she has been a foster parent as well.

The last seven years have been difficult times for adoption, Cindy said. Although few of us think of parenthood as a luxury, adoptions have decreased during the recent economic downturn. Growing uncertainty has caused many to forgo adoption. 

In addition, about five years ago, the United States signed the Hague Adoption Convention, which seeks to ensure that international adoptions have the best interests of the child at their heart, and to establish a system to ensure that such adoptions are not abused.

Cindy Savage

In 2008, Adoption Horizons achieved accreditation under the new Hague Convention guidelines. The agency was one of only 108 in the country (out of 325 that applied) to receive the certification. 

Cindy said that there are some negative points under the new system. International adoptions have decreased since fewer children are available due to the higher standards. In addition, the costs have increased, the waiting times are longer, and the criteria are more stringent. 

The services provided by Adoption Horizons are:

  • Pre-placement home studies
  • Facilitation of adoptions
  • Post-placement counseling
  • Birth mother counseling

The agency continues to “hang in there” despite difficult budget cuts and other difficulties. It will be celebrating 29 years of service on November 29th, at Blue Lake Casino. The event will honor Adoption Horizon’s birthday, and it will acknowledge that November is National Adoption Month. More information is available at the Adoption Horizons website.