Small children were working intently on homemade wreaths with tree limbs, glitter, ribbon, and glue. Entertainment industry figures mingled, flirted, and networked nearby, sipping cocktails and munching on catered treats on the deck of a gorgeous Bel-Air home. The event centered around a silent auction for the Children’s Action Network, an organization that provides scholarships, resources, and raises awareness for foster care adoptions in the United States. The organization is also responsible for presenting CBS’s annual Home for the Holidays special, an hour-long concert interwoven with stories of foster care adoption.
Foster care advocate and Sideways actress Virginia Madsen was also there to lend her support to the organization, and spoke openly about how she considered adopting a child through the foster care system. Though she ended up deciding not to go that route in the end, Madsen’s certification as a foster care parent made her a strong advocate for the “fost-adopt” process. She described attending an adoption ceremony for 130 children in Los Angeles with her friend Nia Vardalos (who underwent the fost-adopt process last year): “It was so heart-wrenching. It was so moving. I couldn’t stop crying the whole day… As cynical as people can get about this world and where we’re going, when you see people really putting themselves out there, to get so deeply involved in a child that they would adopt them and bring them into their family–I don’t know how to describe it. It was extraordinary.”