(Above, Alexis Ridge-Simek)
One Phone Can Change Your Life Forever
Alexis Ridge-Simek grabbed her keys to go to work. It was 5 o’clock in the evening. She was heading out to teach a yoga class at her studio in Bucks County, Dragon Fly Yoga Studio, when the phone rang. How strange that one call can change your life forever. Alexis and her husband, Joseph, had signed up to be foster parents. The man on the other end of the call said, “We have a newborn baby being released from Temple Hospital and she needs a home tonight, are you willing to take care of her? Frantically, Alexis tried to register the information. “Can I call my husband to ask him?” The man replied “Yes, you have exactly one minute.”
The Importance of a Support System
Tiny baby Aria was welcomed into the Simek home hours later wearing only an oversized onesie and wrapped in a blanket. Alexis was lucky. She had a community full of helping hands. Family and neighbors came to the house with diapers, formula, and preemie baby clothing, everything she would need to care for little Aria. It occurred to Alexis that not every foster parent has the critical support that her family had to care for a new foster child. Potential foster families get little notice before a child enters their home. Foster children are sometimes whisked away to a new foster home without time to gather basic necessities.
Fiaria Project Fills a Crucial Need
It was from that need that the Simek’s started a not-for-profit organization that serves Bucks, Montgomery and Philadelphia Counties to remedy the situation. Their solution? The Fiaria Project (fiaria.org). The Fiaria Project provides a “transition kit” for children who are entering into a new home in foster care. What a relief for the foster parents, the social workers and the child to be able to have brand new items to take to their new home: a toothbrush, new pajamas, new outfit, and toiletries.
The Fiaria Project is in its fifth year and going strong. They help between 50 and 100 children a year and they are growing. If you would like to volunteer or donate you can find out more about the organization at their website fiariaproject.org.
You have probably guessed that Alexis and her family adopted little Fiona who is now a healthy thriving 10-year-old girl!