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Once upon world adoption day.

We're one week away from World Adoption Day, which is why I'm reminding you now. You'll want to get your sharpie ready. Maybe your wallet, too.

Didn't know about World Adoption Day? It is a celebration of adoption, held each November, created by Hank Fortener of Adopt Together. Part fund-raiser, part awareness-campaign, your participation in #WorldAdoptionDay can be as simple as drawing a smiley face on your hand and posting it with the official hashtag on your favorite social channels or as complex as organizing an area event to raise funds and start the conversation about adoption in your community. The public, almost four hundred program ambassadors and even celebrities get behind the promotion of #WorldAdoptionDay every year.

If you find yourself wondering what all this money is being raised to accomplish, you're not alone. With just a little digging, it becomes apparent that World Adoption Day festivities are just one of the many tools in Mr. Fortener's arsenal, all working to stamp out the financial woes of adoption, allowing more people to become part of the adoption community. Crowd-sourcing is not a new concept, but it is one Frank and his team wield well in this arena. Over at their sister site,, visitors can begin a profile to raise money for their own adoption journey, learn more about the adoption process, or support the movement with their donation and patronage.

The Fortener family practices what they preach, too! His family fostered 36 children and adopted 8 from 6 different countries while he was growing up and this experience is what led him to begin a non-profit focused on the eradicating the painful, financial barriers to adoption.

I first encountered Hank when watching this video from STORY Gathering, and while this talk is not specifically dedicated to adoption, he tells much of the Adopt Together story here, drawing viewers in with his energy and passion for life. I highly recommend a viewing...while you're doing that, you can start practicing your smiley-face drawing for next Monday: November 9, 2017. I'll keep an eye out for your hand and you'll see mine on Facebook Twiiter, and Instagram.

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