Oh the places you will see....

Once again I lugged that big ole suitcase down the steps and out to my car. Once again I checked my route and filled the car with gas. Once again I grabbed some
snacks and tuned in the satellite radio.

Travel has been second nature to me for about ten years or so. It started when I took a temp job with a traveling auto sales group. I’m kind of a people person and a
job where I talked to people all day seemed like a no brainer. After a few months and a lot of good work they moved me to sales. Long story short, I did well and ran
with that sales crew until my third baby was born. At that point my wife asked that I stay closer to home. I took a job at a dealership and I stowed away the suitcase.
My traveling days were over, or at least I thought they were.

The magazine comes with a lot of responsibilties. The most important of course is making sure I put out a quality product. Hopefully I can get it out on time each
month if possible. Hopefully I have covered enough about the foster care system that everyone gets to learn a little bit about their particular area of care. Hopefully I
found time to play with my kids. But another part of my responsibilities as a magazine owner, FCAA board member and just every alum’s big brother is travelling to
support all the different groups and individuals who support me (even if they don’t support me), it’s my job.

So whether it’s D.C. a few times a month to cover meetings and barely get noticed (full disclosure while I was occasionally overlooked by some higher ups, the bulk of
the folks now go out of their way to make me feel important) or Philadelphia to check in with the folks at Arise Academy (check the FF fanpage for more info) or even
the bi yearly drive to Ohio to support the FCAA Ohio chapter’s conferences. That last drive is long and a little dull, one day I’ll just fly there, but the conference is
incredible, worth it.

Now I get to zip over to New Jersey to see the One Simple Wish team. And as you read a few issues ago, I got to go to California! But my favorite trips have become
those D.C. excursions. Nowadays, I’m invited. Two years ago, when I first started the magazine, I went door to door and gave my magazine to every Senator &
Representative in DC. I thought seeing my face might engage them. I was wrong. I’m 100% sure that my magazine found a cozy spot on the bottom of the junk mail
pile.

Now I’m invited, now they know who I am(which is strange).

One of the reasons that anyone in DC knows who I am is definitely the connections I made when I was invited to attend the CWLA conference (again, full disclosure; I
hounded the conference coordinator, relentlessly. Now that she and I are friends I have moved onto hounding the Anna Quinland award coordinator.). I was scared,
unprepared and maybe a little too optimistic that first conference. My fears were squashed by dozens of smiling faces welcoming me with open arms. Through dinners
and chatting I made a lot of valuable relationships, some of which you’ve seen in the pages of the magazine.

William Bell, was one of the connections I made. When you hear him speak you want to hear more. I wanted to read what he thought as well, so I asked him. He said
yes. That’s been the trend. I ask, they say yes. Let’s hope that keeps up. As long as the people of foster care will invite me, I’ll keep driving to their events.

Okay, couple of housekeeping items. Thanks again to the CWLA folks for having me to their conference. And a special thank you to my friends at Cenpatico, Casey,
FCAA and EMK Press for reminding me why I work so hard. Your trust in me and your support has been invaluable. Second is Derek Clark. He’s the Guest Speaker
this issue and the crux of next issue’s focus. Derek had a tough upbringing that you’ll learn more about but he’s the #1 option when you Google motivational,
inspirational speakers. He’s from foster care so that’s huge. I can’t wait for you to read more about him.

Lastly, there is a show coming to ABCFamily called “The Foster’s”, you may have already seen trailers for it online or commercials for it on TV. Quick snapshot;  an
interracial, gay couple with a biological children and an adoptive child bring an additional child into their home through foster care. What follows is a lot of life lessons
and foster care situations. Foster Focus will review the show, and keep you up to date with public opinion. There will be a lot of controversy from various groups for
the makeup of the family and perhaps the way care is portrayed. By now you know my personality and theme of the magazine. I will give you all sides of the story and
an unbiased look at the show.

Have a good month, see you in Foster Care Month when we’ll begin Foster Focus’ 3rd year!  A year dedicated to the people who make the foster care system work.
Get ready for first hand insight from the decision makers of foster care. See ya then!