One of the current events we'll likely remember from 2017 is the devastating hurricanes that ravaged Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico. Many felt the impact of these storms, and our prayers continue to go out to these families as they recover and rebuild their lives. But to be quite honest, we have children in this state who are enduring hurricane-like trauma every day, in their own homes. For a moment, they might experience some relief in the "eye of the storm", but soon the winds of abuse and neglect come raging back, and their lives are overwhelmed by suffering and chaos.
I imagine these children as kites, being grabbed by hurricane-like winds, and tossed up and down with no strings attached to keep them grounded and secure. It is our job to send a lifeline to these kids and pull them to safety. We must do everything within our power to bring these children out of the storms of abuse and heartache and into homes of love and protection. As of Jan. 7, 2018, there were 8,624 kids in Kentucky placed in out-of-home care, waiting for their forever families. Currently, we serve 1,156 children and adults.
Sunrise shines a bright light of hope. During this past fiscal year (Sept. 1, 2016 to Aug. 31, 2017), we completed 56 adoptions. We have celebrated 389 adoptions since the start of the program and have already completed 17 adoptions since Sept. 1, 2017. We have also added the service of Adoption Home Studies, which has celebrated its first adoption. Plus, we currently have around 20 pending adoptions.
I have even more great news. During fiscal year 2017, Sunrise reported 18 rededications, 34 baptisms, and 56 professions of faith. That's tremendous! Through God's leadership, we have helped children find not only healing and hope on this earth, but also an eternal home, where no hurricane can touch.
My goal for 2018 is to bring a revolution of love to hurting children and families all across this Commonwealth. We must replace the storms of abuse with showers of love. Join me in showering love on all hurting children in Kentucky. Their hurricane season is never-ending. They require our rescue efforts now. We can do this. We must do this. Grab hold of that kite string. And pull!