It was the vision of a small, fiery woman in the Battle Creek area. It was her passion and her desire to make a difference in the lives of children and families. This passion and love for children led her to raise her nephew, adopting over thirteen children, and fostering over one hundred children.
That woman was MaryLou Bax, and along with other like-minded individuals, who founded the Family Enrichment Center twenty-five years ago. Today, the Family Enrichment Center consists of our amazing Foster Care Resource Team assisting our area foster care licensing units with the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services in recruiting and supporting foster, adoptive, and kinship families, in addition to our staff at the Take a Break Child Care Center.
In celebration and to honor MaryLou’s legacy, in addition to honoring our amazing foster, adoptive, and kinship families, we are proud to launch our brand-new initiative… L.O.V.E., or “Living Our Value Everyday” It is a reminder to our foster, adoptive, and kinship families that they are amazing in all they do to love and care for our children. It is also a reminder to our families to love themselves and take care of themselves as well. Not only is it about self-care, it’s also about self-love. Know that when you see the L.O.V.E. logo that we VALUE you and all you do and that you are LOVED!
Throughout the month of February, we will be asking our foster, adoptive, and kinship families:
· What does L.O.V.E. mean to you?
· How do you recognize your value as a foster, adoptive, and kinship family?
· How do you share your value with other families and friends?
We look forward to hearing about how you share the L.O.V.E. within your communities and families. Going forward, be on the lookout for future programming and initiatives with the L.O.V.E. logo!
On a personal note, I am so blessed to be part of such a wonderful organization that MaryLou cultivated and developed into what it is. The team that I am a part of is like my second family and not just a job. I never imagined I would be where I am at today after that first phone call to MaryLou in January 2018. Sadly, this would be the first and last time I ever spoke to her as she passed away shortly afterward on Valentine’s Day, February 14th, in 2018. In a way, we are sharing the L.O.V.E. with our foster, adoptive, and kinship families, but also showing and sharing the love that MaryLou cultivated for so long for us to continue leading the way in our communities.
Our first twenty-five years were just a warm-up! We look forward to having you join us on this journey into our next twenty-five years (and beyond) of making a difference in the lives of our foster, adoptive, and kinship families. Although Mary Lou is not here with us physically, she will forever live in our hearts and our spirit and continue to act as a catalyst in making a difference in the lives of our foster, adoptive, and kinship community.
Louie Davidson Foster Care Navigator & Recruitment and Retention Coordinator