Dr. Rachel Fornes: Doctors’ Goodwill Ambassador
By Space Coast Medicine & Active Living Magazine // October 20, 2014
AMBASSADOR AWARDS GALA SET FOR NOV. 8
‘Children Teach You A Selfless Love, They Render A Joy No One Else Can Give’
Change the life of a child…change the world, says a quote on the website of Home at Last, the adoption agency founded by Cocoa Beach chiropractor Dr. Rachel Fornes.
The mother of six adopted children, Fornes has indeed changed the lives of many children beyond her own family.
She launched Home at Last when she adopted her first child, now 23, and has since worked tirelessly to find homes for children who might otherwise end up in the foster care system.
Unlike many adoption agencies, Home at Last focuses on open adoptions, which connects the birth mother with the adoptive parents and helps her with her decision to place the baby up for adoption.
“Many of these mothers were in the foster care system or had very disadvantaged lives,” said Fornes. “Some are homeless. Others have multiple children and no jobs and cannot properly care for the child.”
Although a majority of the adoptions engineered by Fornes and her team have been Florida-based, many children have been adopted by loving couples as far away as Holland and the United Kingdom. Fornes stresses the need for pre- and post-birth counseling with the birth mothers.
“It’s a win-win situation, for both the birth mothers and the adoptive parents,” she says.
SUPPORT AND ENCOURAGE DIVERSE ADOPTIONS
Her philosophy works, for Home at Last is recognized as an agency of integrity and service. A firm believer in trans-racial adoption, Fornes believes no child should live in foster care when thousands of couples are eager to adopt.
“We support and encourage diverse adoptions, which may include foster, multi-ethnicity and special needs children,” she said.
Fornes and her late husband, USA Today founder Al Neuharth, adopted children from racially diverse backgrounds. One of their children suffers from Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of autism, so Fornes joined the board of the Scott Center for Autism Treatment.
Birth mothers see Fornes as a mother figure, staying in touch with her years after the adoption, as do adoptive parents. Fornes’ efforts on behalf of adoptions earned her the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute Award in 2012. Fornes’ quote for a PARADE magazine story reveals the reason behind her efforts.
“Children teach you a selfless love,’ she said. “They render a joy no one else can give.”
For Fornes, it is “a blessing and a privilege to be in a position to give a permanent home to children who need one.”
SPACE COAST MEDICINE WEEK SET FOR NOV. 1– 8
EDITOR’S NOTE: The Doctors’ Goodwill Foundation has raised more than $1.7 million in support of charity thanks to the assistance of Mike Shah and many generous and giving special people.
Those people, and their spirit of philanthropy, will be recognized and honored on Saturday, Nov. 8 at the Doctors’ Goodwill Foundation Ambassador Awards, which will be part of the nine-event “Space Coast Medicine Week,” produced annually by Brevard Productions, the event and production sister company of Space Coast Medicine & Active Living magazine and Space Coast Daily.
The Doctors’ Goodwill Foundation Ambassador Awards will be held at the Hilton Melbourne Rialto Place beginning at 6 p.m. with a meet and greet, followed by the dinner and awards program at 7 p.m.
DGF AMBASSADORS TO BE HONORED INCLUDE:
Rosanne Cain, BSN; Barbara Carter; Tim Cerullo, CEO, Wuesthoff; Dr. Arvind Dhople; Dr. Rachel Fornes; Nina Gadodia; Michael Haridopolos; Dr. Heidar Heshmati; Dr. Irfan Imami; Edwin Loftin, R.N., V.P. Parrish Medical Center; Astronaut Jon MacBride; Dr. Patricia Manning; Judge Ali Majeed; Dr. Ashok Shah; Mike Shah; Naren Shah; Mr. and Mrs. William Terry; Susan Tindall; Dr. David Weldon; Bruce Wolters and Vitas Hospice.
Parrish Medical Center with CEO George Mikitarian, will also be recognized and honored with a Doctors Goodwill Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award for their many years of support of the Doctors Goodwill Foundation charitable endeavors.
“The entire Doctors Goodwill Foundation board and community feels heartfelt gratitude to the people who contribute their time, resources and compassion to the charitable endeavors that we undertake,” said Dr. Kanti Bhalani, the Founder of the Doctors’ Goodwill Foundation.
“The Doctors’ Goodwill Foundation can only do what it does, thanks to the love and support that it’s friends provide. We feel it is important to recognize people who give of themselves and that is why we created the Doctors Goodwill Foundation Ambassador Awards.”
COMPELLING MULTIMEDIA TRIBUTE VIDEOS & STORIES
Stay tuned to SpaceCoastDaily.com and Space Coast Medicine & Active Living magazine for extensive multimedia coverage of each and every honoree, as we present their compelling charitable works through stories and special tribute films by Maverick Multimedia, Inc.
Don’t miss the Oct/Nov 2014 special edition of Space Coast Medicine & Active Living magazine for complete multimedia coverage of the Doctors’ Goodwill Foundation Ambassador Awards – and all the events of “Space Coast Medicine Week.”
For dinner reservations to the Doctors’ Goodwill Foundation Ambassador Awards call 321-749-1282. For sponsor or exhibitor information, call 321-323-4460 or 321- 615- 8111, or e-mail MaverickMultiMedia@gmail.com