CNOtes 8/10/21: Bryon Black, Foster Parenting


  • Debe Dockins announced that TOP Soccer is looking for volunteers on Sunday, August 22nd from 3 to 4 PM at Oak Grove Park to help with the 2021 Season Registration Check-In Duties. If you can help, please contact Dana Dring.
  • Bob Glavin announced the 21st season of TOP soccer for special needs kids will start on 8/22/2021. The program needs volunteers, including assistant coaches and on-field buddies assigned to a participant. The kids look forward to the event each year. Volunteers do not need to know anything about soccer to help.
  • Bob Lawson announced the Fishing Derby will be on August 28, 2021. Please contact Bob or Andy Dickerson if you can volunteer at the event.
  • Greg Fay announced that the next Optimist 2.0 meeting will be 8/19/2021 at Nelly’s with Zach Hollingsworth of Freedom Whiskey speaking.
  • Debe Dockins announced the CNO officer installation dinner will be on September 28, 2021 at Yankee Trace. There will not be a lunch meeting that day.
  • Debe Dockins announced a service project being worked on by the Great Ohio District of OI. For the August 2021 convention attendees will be stuffing backpacks with school supplies. The stuffed backpacks will be donated to JW Reasons Elementary school in Hilliard, OH. There are two ways to contribute: purchase items from the list and bring them to our meeting or to give money for the purchase of items. Evelyn will be collecting money and supplies every Tuesday until 8/17/2021. Contact Evelyn if you have questions. Read the flyer here.
  • Patrick Arehart announced that CNO is holding a Membership Drive where participating members will share in $400 based on the number of points received.  Receive 1 point for bringing a guest to any meeting, 3 points for a returning guest and 10 points for a guest application.  The contest runs through 9/21/2021.

Community Events

  • 8/28/2021, the annual Fishing Derby will be held at RecPlex

Happy Birthday Art Hung

Charlie Tapp led us in singing happy birthday to Art Hung. Art has been the chair of the sunshine committee for several years. Art spreads sunshine by sending flowers and cards to those that have gotten sick or injured and for relatives that have passed. Charlie said we should sing in the opposite style of how well Art treats members when they need cheering up. It was a success; the singing was very bad and I do mean especially bad.

Note, President Debe Dockins was so happy when she saw that Art Hung was in attendance today. She just loves for us to sing for member birthdays.

Bryon Black, Foster Parenting

Carol Smerz introduced Bryon Black. Bryon is originally from California and moved to Vandalia Ohio at 4 years of age. He and his wife are high school sweethearts and they will be celebrating their 12th anniversary soon. We saw a picture of Bryon wearing a kilt to his wedding. He has his own photography and videography business. Their hearts are with their love of children. His wife Ashley Black has been a third-grade teacher at a charter school. She witnessed firsthand the effects of children growing up in broken families. Nearly every day she would come home from work and cry.

Bryon came today to educate us about foster parenting and to tell us about the foster parent journey he and Ashley have gone through for the past 23 months. They have 2 foster children.

Fertility Issues

In 2018 after 9 years of marriage, Byron and Ashley had not had any children. For a while they were not actively trying to get pregnant. Then after actively trying they were told that they had issues, but no one knew exactly what they were.  More and more of their friends were getting married and having kids. There were a lot of challenging nights. They had discussed adoption and they really wanted to adopt, but it is very expensive and more than they wanted to spend. It can cost as much as $30,000 to adopt each child.

Fostering Children in Order to Adopt a Child

Bryon and Ashley learned more about foster parenting from their church. They learned about the sacrifices that families make to foster kids. Foster parenting can be a path to adoption. Once a child has been removed from their biological parents, foster parents on a temporary basis will take care of a child. At any point, the courts could return children to their biological parents. The process has a lot of bureaucracy, and it is very difficult.

Within the first year 50% of foster parents drop out of the program. It is an emotionally difficult job. Foster parents become very attached to the children they are helping. You must remember that the government’s goal is to return the kids to their biological parents or relatives whenever possible.

You could be fostering a child for years and suddenly have them removed from your home. This can happen even after the parents have been permanently removed from the possibility of recovering their child. Relatives like grandparents, aunts and uncles that have not helped at all might suddenly show up. Relatives get priority over foster parents. The good news though is if these biological connections do not show up wanting the children then the foster parents are first in line to adopt.

Bryon and Ashley are Currently Fostering Siblings

Bryon and Ashley spent 6 months being trained and certified to be foster parents. Not long after being certified they received a phone call that two siblings (a boy and a girl) needed a place to stay. They agreed to foster the kids and they were brought to them that night.

The first night the kids slept for 12 hours. They thought they really hit the jackpot for easy to take care of children. However, the kids never slept that long again. The first week was very challenging for everyone. They survived the first week and learned just how little sleep an adult can survive on. The pandemic has not made it any easier, but they are all still very happy.

Bryon learned the biggest thing the kids needed was just to be loved.

In October, 2021 they will learn if the kids will be permanently placed with them.

Key Things to Remember About Foster Parenting

Society will never have enough foster families.

You can help without becoming a foster parent. Find a foster family to support and offer to babysit or offer financial support. There are many ways to help and to get involved in the fostering process.

Another way to help is to look for ways to get involved with families that are struggling before their kids get removed. Many parents need help overcoming generational cycles of poverty, joblessness, poor parenting, poor diet and more.

Thank You

Thank you, Bryon Black, for joining us to talk about you and your wife’s foster parenting journey and what you have learned.

New Member Readings and Inductions

NameSponsor1st 2nd 3rd Reading or Induction
Sam HolmesMike BevisInduction
Mitchell BodenmillerTom Novak1st Reading
Jessica WagnerMike Bevis1st Reading
Sally MartinoMike Bevis2nd Reading
Jane HenryCarol Smerz2nd Reading
Deanna NesbitMike Bevis3rd Reading
Brian NicholasLarry Lynde3rd Reading

Welcome Guests!

GuestGuest Of
Bryon BlackSpeaker
Dale BlackSpeaker’s Guest
Mitch BodenmillerTom Novak
Cindy GabouryJulie Noeth
Sue LabatzkyDebe Dockins
Terry SchanatDebe Dockins

Happy Bucks

No time for Happy Bucks this week.

Sergeants at Arms

No time for Sergeants at Arms this week.

Membership Anniversaries

MemberMonthDayJoined# Years
Kristen PassidomoAugust168/16/20174
Maha KashaniAugust158/15/200615


Art HungAugust 10
Judy DeMarcoAugust 10
Paul StullAugust 11
Larry LyndeAugust 12
Fred PolizziAugust 13
Julie ShislerAugust 13
Vince ReidyAugust 14
Greg WasmundAugust 15

CNO Donations – 2013 through July 2021

Click here to see a summary of donations the club has made since 2013

Thank You Notes Received

Click here to see the Thank You Notes received this week

Links to PowerPoint and Pictures

A Copy of this Week’s Meeting PowerPoint Slide Deck is here

The photos taken at Today’s Meeting are here.