Project Create DC Celebrates National Adoption Day

By Editorial Team on November 15, 2021
Courtesy of Sharon Wise.
Event: Saturday, November 20 from 3pm to 5:30pm

Art, Film and Music!   Advocates, Community Leaders, Law Enforcement, Judges and Fostering Organizations will celebrate and be celebrated on Saturday, November 20, 2021, from 3:00pm until 5:30pm at Project Create DC, 2208 Martin Luther King, Jr. Ave SE, Washington, DC 20020.

On Saturday, November 20, 2021, DC Superior Court will facilitate the 35th Year Anniversary of National Adoption Day. Through a virtual format, they will participate in the legal adoption of children and youth around the District of Columbia. DC Superior Court will showcase pictures and videos of several families who are legally adopting children. Media partners will share the stories of making families whole on a variety of outlets before and after adoptions take place.

National Adoption Day is a collective effort to raise awareness of more then 120,000 children wanting to be adopted from foster care in the United States. A coalition of national partners-the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute, Alliance for Children’s Rights and Children Action Network-founded National Adoption Day. Every year, the Saturday before Thanksgiving, children’s adoptions are finalized, and to date over 75, 000 children adoption dreams have come true on National Adoption Day thanks to advocates, policy makers, court systems and adoption agencies.

After the DC Superior Court event, Adoptee and Founder of Jus Swagg TV (JSTV) Theodore M. Wesby, III will host an Adoption Day Awareness campaign to educate, recognize and celebrate community members, adoption agencies, fostering organizations, law enforcement, families, and friends who have worked feverishly to support, raise awareness, and educate others around the importance of adoption.

This in-person celebration will be illustrated through music, art and film. The award-winning film “Letter to Niyyah” will be shown to inform attendees of what happens trauma isn’t addressed and how it can lead to children being placed in foster care. That is not the end of the story. The film also sheds light on the role of resiliency, reunification, and hope, so bring your support and tissue. There will be an art exhibition and live Jazz presented by a local band.

Where Adoption Meets Resilience: Education, Advocacy, and Celebrations

Theodore Mercedez Wesby, III was born under water to a teen mom whose life was riddled with addiction, jails and institutions. He and his sister were placed in foster care by the time he was two; however, that is not where the story ends.

While a relative stepped in and adopted Theodore, his sister got lost in the system. By the time he was nine years old he had lived in multiple places. When he turned ten, his mother Sharon had begun to get her life on track. After a chance move to the Nation’s Capital, their lives took a turn for the “better”. Theodore was a homeless ten-year-old living in a rooming house when he got involved with homeless outreach. He teamed up with the Salvation Army and began hitting the streets, while doing his homework in the Canteen.

His outreach activities caught the attention of the Washington Post and the Presidential desk of George Bush, Sr.  Theodore was then invited to the White House for lunch where he received The Points of Light Award with a photo that graced the front page of the Post.

“Being adopted doesn’t mean defeat or hopelessness”, he said to one reporter.  We know now that was and is true. Theodore became an advocate for other adoptees and at-risk youth by being an example of hope. He went on to win every award given to a youth at Salvation Army Camp: Beat the Odds Award, United Negro College Fund Scholarship and a Presidential Scholarship. He left college and went into the military to serve our country.

Today, Theodore uses his experience and love for serving others in his video and production studio called “Jus Swagg TV” (JSTV).  JSTV caters to Independent Artists and those who need a platform to “share their stories”. He and his mom are now reunited in the work he started over 25 years ago.

“Jux-ta-po-si-tion”: Contrasting Art, Film & Music is a weeklong event that will change the lives of so many people while educating and raising awareness. Through art, JSTV will host color “Sipping Tea” Virtual Conversations that raise awareness about Adoption, Fostering and Legal Custody.

Through Film, we will host a viewing session of our award-winning film “Letter to Niyyah”, which tells the story from his mom’s life and how he and his sister ended up in foster care.  The presentation will demonstrate Victory through the roll of resilience. Check out our short film below: “Letter to Niyyah”, click the link and pull out the tissue.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=kO0KYO6RSnQ

Call to Action:

  • Join us for virtual and in person activities around Washington, DC
  • Visit our website at: jusswaggtv.online and see how you can get involved and donate to our causes
  • Send letters encouraging judges and child welfare organizations to coordinate or join our National Adoption Day events.
  • Have your state or town issue a Proclamation or Resolution in support of National Adoption Day
  • Tie white ribbons in your community, at you place of worship, school, home and at work in support of National Adoption Day
  • Use hashtag #nationaladoptionday, in social media post, share stories, can pictures so that we can share them on our media platforms

More information at https://www.holidayscalendar.com/event/national-adoption-day/