Prayers will be offered during the day’s services and bells will peal 19 times the evening of Nov. 7 for children in the Connecticut child welfare system in need of adoptive homes. Faith communities and schools are ringing the bells at 6 pm to mark the beginning of National Adoption Month. Some communities also plan to hold candlelight vigils during the bell ringing.
Cheshire resident, Deb Kelleher, began this project to bring attention to the children in Connecticut child welfare system who need adoptive homes. Kelleher, an adoptive mother of three boys, says she felt called to help foster children for very personal reasons. One of Kelleher’s adopted sons has an adult biological brother who was never adopted and was living on the streets when this project began last year.
“In this great country of ours,” Kelleher states, “there is no reason why all children should not be able to find good, loving homes. My goal is for folks to be moved by the sound of the bells and the offering of prayers. So many good causes are out there and I wanted to find a way to draw attention to this one. I hope that folks who hear about this project come forward to become foster and adoptive parents for children who need them.”
Kelleher says that a number of churches in the state are also holding special prayer services the evening of Nov. 7th including First Congregational Church of Cheshire, Berlin Congregational Church, Bristol Baptist Church, House of Restoration Church in Hartford, Phillips Metropolitan CME Church in Hartford, Center Church on-the-Green in New Haven, Congregational Church of Putnam and the First Church in Windsor. Kelleher suggests that any family who would like to attend a prayer service check the Bells of Hope website for an updated list as more faith communities are signing up every day.
Any faith community or school interested in participating in Bells of Hope can contact Kelleher at (203) 706-0101 or through the Bells of Hope website: www.BellsofHope.org. A complete list of all 120 participants from last year is available on the website as well as an up-to-date list for 2010. Anyone interested in becoming a foster or adoptive parent can call Kelleher or check the website for more information.