April 06, 2020
Column

Former foster mom longs for family reunion

Twenty-five years ago, Lorraine Orlando Wood and her former husband, Richard Orlando, were raising four children at 75-77 Division St. in Bangor.

In addition to their own youngsters, they also cared for a total of 26 foster children for several years in the early 1980s.

Lorraine Wood, a former foster child herself who now resides in Rhode Island, has never forgotten those children who were part of her Bangor family a quarter-century ago, and she would love to see them all again and find out how they are doing.

“There were times when we had 14 children in our home,” she wrote. “The children would come and either become of age or would just stay a couple days or weeks and then move on.

“Many times, I have wondered what has become of our foster children.”

Of the 26 she cared for, she has had contact with only one, she wrote.

When I spoke with her this week, Wood was vacationing with relatives in Maine.

She said she had contacted the local office of the state Department of Health and Human Services to seek help in locating her former foster children but was told all records were sealed.

She would love to hear from any of her children, Wood said, and would dearly love to have “a grand” family reunion for everyone to catch up with each other after 25 years.

Foster children who remember the days they lived in Bangor with the Orlando family are invited to write Lorraine Wood, 189 Clarence St., Providence, R.I. 02909 or, even better, call her at 401-946-3259.

Your call would truly make her day.

Here is a marvelous opportunity for anyone with a young child who would benefit from a free nursery school experience.

Diane Batty wrote there is still room for six more children, ages 3 to 5, to attend the Hampden Academy Child Development program’s nursery school.

The school “is available to anyone in other communities, not just Hampden or SAD 22,” Batty wrote.

Classes generally meet from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, she wrote. The program runs through mid-January.

Conducted by high school students enrolled in the Academy’s Child Development and Advanced Child Development program, Batty pointed out it offers “lots of opportunity for one-on-one attention.”

For more information, call Batty at 862-3971 or e-mail dbatty@sad22.us.

FUTURE MSAD 3 Events Committee co-chairs Bev Winship and Barbara Higgins are seeking individuals to provide handmade crafts to sell at the committee’s table during a Christmas Craft Fair, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, at Mount View High School in Thorndike.

Proceeds from the table’s sales will benefit the campaign for the 300-seat Mount View School Performing Arts Center.

Crafters who can donate items for this table should call Higgins at 948-3613 or e-mail grammiebam@uninets.net, or call Winship at 568-3422 or 568-3642 or e-mail winshipbev@uninets.net.

FUTURE MSAD 3 needs to raise $155,000 to meet the Unity Foundation challenge grant and its $575,000 goal.

For more information about the campaign, call 948-6120 or e-mail office@futuremsad3.org or visit www.futuremsad3.org.

Karen Sites wrote to remind readers that October is Spina Bifida Awareness Month.

The Spina Bifida Association of America explains that “spina bifida is a common birth defect of the spine that causes lifelong disabilities” and occurs “very early in pregnancy before women even know they are pregnant.”

“More than 70,000 Americans have spina bifida,” and many more have a mild form known as spina bifida occulata.

The SBAA recommends that all women of childbearing age take a vitamin with folic acid every day to reduce the risk of spina bifida up to 70 percent.

To learn more, call SBAA at (800) 621-3141.

Sites wrote the Spina Bifida Association of Maine will hold an information booth at United Cerebral Palsy of Maine’s Pumpkins in the Park from 3:30 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28, at the Bangor Auditorium.

The Altrusa International of Greater Bangor Fall Fashion Show is 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 23, at the Campus Center at Husson College in Bangor.

Tickets are $12. They can be purchased at the door or by calling Lois Bloomer at 848-5028.

Altrusa, an international volunteer service organization of business and professional people, awards three $1,000 scholarships annually to students enrolled in degree programs at local colleges

Joni Averill, Bangor Daily News, P.O. Box 1329, Bangor 04402; 990-8288.


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