NOVEMBER 28, 1959
NEW YORK—I have just heard of a particularly fine thing that is being done by the Louise Wise Services, which is one of New York's oldest adoption agencies and a member of the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York and of the Child Welfare League of America.
This agency has just made a public appeal to families that would be willing to adopt seven youngsters afflicted with severe physical handicaps. These youngsters are four boys and three girls who range in age from 10 months to three and a half years old. Three of the children are hard of hearing, two have cardiac conditions, one was born with a cleft palate and a harelip, and one has webbed fingers.
In making the appeal the agency said it was doing so "because we believe it is more important for them (the handicapped youngsters) to find loving, permanent homes of their own than to go unphotographed, unpublicized and homeless."
Such an announcement as this was made because it is unusual to make a public appeal and particularly to release case histories and photographs of any children. As a rule, this would be considered a violation of their privacy and the right of people not to divulge anything about children who are up for adoption, except to prospective applicants who, of course, have the right to know each child's background, medical history and prognosis.
I'm sure that much can be done to improve the outlook for these children and that it may be a very happy decision for the people who decide to take them in and give them loving care.
The Louise Wise Services has placed more than 4,000 children for adoption since 1916. In the past seven years alone the agency has found adoptive homes for about 150 children of mixed racial backgrounds—among them Negroes, Puerto Ricans, Koreans, Chinese and American Indians.
I have just received a delightful small-children's book, called "Enter in" by Laura Lewis with pictures by Ernest Crichlow. The book shows small youngsters of different racial backgrounds taking part in many different activities, and I think it will serve to show small children that there is little difference among all youngsters of the world despite color or racial background.
This is the day that I settle in my new New York City apartment. I don't mean that I will be completely settled, but I can say that it is extraordinary what can be done by decorators in a very short time.
I spent last Tuesday weeding out from what I had in storage what could be used immediately and what would have to wait until the floor below my present one is ready.
All in all, a great deal of order has come out of much chaos, and I look forward to giving a party here at my new place on December 2.