Too often family history gets lost or forgotten as elder family members pass away. For November’s Family Stories Month make a project of gathering your family stories. Put together a list of questions. Meet with family elders. Ask questions, get answers, and discover information you never knew. Document the responses. Share with the family-at-large. Store in a safe, accessible place.

                       on: National Adoption Awareness Month...


by Sylvia Ford-George 

What I like most about fall in November is the cooler temperatures, and using the opportunity to cook oven-baked comfort foods that summer’s heat would not permit. The warmth, savory smells and tastes, and pondering upcoming time with family and friends, all help make the change from summer to fall bearable.

November means colder weather, unofficial family reunions, end of year holidays, cooking, football and being thoughtful about the things we’re thankful for, including Military Family Appreciation Month, National Adoption Month, National Gratitude Month, National Inspirational Role Models Month, World Kindness Day, Beautiful Day, and National Hunger & Homeless Awareness Week.

Family Days to celebrate this month include: Million Minute Family Challenge Month (began in September, ends in December), Family Stories Month, National Family Caregivers Appreciation Month, National Family Literacy Day, National Men Make Dinner Day, and National Parents as Teachers Day. And don’t forget your family members birthdays, anniversaries, and special celebrations and occasions. Find out more in this month's FAMILY TIME.

This month’s REUNION TIP OF THE MONTH helps commemorate Family Stories Month with a suggestion on how to identify and keepsake your family stories. In this month’s WORTH REPEATING, we share a few Thanksgiving Day quotes. This month's DID YOU KNOW? provides some facts about National Adoption Awareness Month, and ICYMI (In Case You Missed It) shares info on a TV documentary about older foster children who are about to age out of the system. And finally we share a poem titled Thanksgiving Delights.

Thanksgiving Day provides an opportunity for us to take inventory of all we have to be thankful for—including family. Family is at the heart of who we all are. At the end of the day what we want for ourselves and family members is to be loved and cared for; to be able to grow, dream, live; to be respected and have the ability to tend to our lives, careers, physical and financial needs without fear, harm or danger.  No one family (or person) is better than another. And while our finances, education, and upbringing may differ, in most cases, the need to nurture and be nurtured as human beings is undeniably the same.

This Thanksgiving Day as we sit around our dinner tables being grateful for those around us, let’s consider spreading more love, joy, encouragement and support. Let’s try to live each day being more helpful, hopeful, peaceful and positive. Let’s treat others, as we’d like to be treated. Let’s spread more kindness and good intentions. Let's define family unity through our actions as well as our words. Let's be well, eat well, and do well. Let's continue to grow stronger families together.

Have a great November. Don't forget to turn your clocks back on the 3rd, and vote on the 5th. And remember to spread thanksgiving love all month long.


  • Family Time
  • Reunion Tip of the Month
  • Worth Repeating
  • Did You Know?
  • ICYMI (In Case You Missed It!)


- November images from free images

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.”

– Melody Beattie

Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving.”

– W.T. Purkiser

“If you think about a Thanksgiving dinner, it’s really like making a large chicken.”

– Ina Garten

“I come from a family where gravy is considered a beverage.”  

– Erma Bombeck


November is full of lots to do, celebrate, eat, enjoy and make good family time out of. We get an extra hour of sleep, and start the end of year holiday season with Thanksgiving and unofficial family reunions, good meals and desserts, football, Black Friday shopping, and much to be grateful for.

The Family Reunion Institute welcomes Sheila Pradia Williams to the Advisory Board!


At the reunion several family members noticed a cousin being verbally abusive with his elderly mother and father. No one said anything at the time, but we’re wondering if we should have said or done something. What’s the best way to handle this kind of situation at a reunion?


A Poem for Thanksgiving...

Thanksgiving Delights
On Thanksgiving Day we're thankful for
Our blessings all year through,
For family we dearly love,
For good friends, old and new.

For sun to light and warm our days,
For stars that glow at night,
For trees of green and skies of blue,
And puffy clouds of white.

We're grateful for our eyes that see
The beauty all around,
For arms to hug, and legs to walk,
And ears to hear each sound.

The list of all we're grateful for
Would fill a great big book;
Our thankful hearts find new delights
Everywhere we look!

By Joanna Fuchs


The Day I Picked My Parents is a documentary series that follows ten foster children as they search to find their forever home. For the first time in their lives, they will have a say into their own destiny as they decide where they want to live and who will be their family. Through a pioneering program Kidsave developed, kids who have been in foster care for much of their lives are being asked what they want, how they want to live, and are given the power to pick their own parents. Find out more:


about Thanksgiving


Copyright 2014-2019  Family Reunion Institute. All rights reserved.

Did you know that National Adoption Awareness Month is set aside to raise awareness about the urgent need to find adoptive families for children and youth in foster care? Following are some facts from the Adoption Network.

  • Every day, there are children being adopted into loving families all across the country from the foster care system.
  • About 135,000 children are adopted in the United States each year. Of non-stepparent adoptions, about 59% are from the child welfare (or foster) system, 26% are from other countries, and 15% are voluntarily relinquished American babies.
  • On any given day, there are nearly 428,000 children in foster care in the United States. In 2015, over 670,000 children spent time in U.S. foster care. Unfortunately, instead of being safely reunified with their families — or moved quickly into adoptive homes — many will languish for years in foster homes or institutions.
  • There are 107,918 foster children eligible for and waiting to be adopted. In 2014, 50,644 foster kids were adopted — a number that has stayed roughly consistent for the past five years. The average age of a waiting child is 7.7 years old and 29% of them will spend at least three years in foster care.
  • More than 60% of children in foster care spend two to five years in the system before being adopted. Almost 20% spend five or more years in foster care before being adopted. Some never get adopted.
  • Of the over 400,000 children in foster care in the U.S., 114,556 cannot be returned to their families and are waiting to be adopted. Among these children, males outnumber females, African American children are disproportionately represented, and over half are 6 years old or older.
  • Although no more than 2% of Americans have actually adopted, more than 1/3 have considered it.
  • 6 in 10 Americans have had personal experience with adoption, meaning that they themselves, a family member, or a close friend was adopted, had adopted a child, or had placed a child for adoption.
  • There are about 1.5 million adopted children in the United States, which is 2% of the population, or one out of 50 children.
  • Every year, about 23,000 children age out of foster care without finding a permanent family.

Find out more here: