May 25, 2010
"Little boy, 6 years old
A little too used to bein' alone
Another new mom and dad, another school
Another house that'll never be home.
When people ask him how he likes this place ...
He looks up and says, with a smile upon his face,
`This is my temporary home
It's not where I belong
Windows and rooms that I'm passin'through.
This is just a stop, on the way to where I'm going.
I'm not afraid because I know this is my Temporary Home.'"
--- First verse of Carrie Underwood's country music hit `Temporary Home'
Mother's Day weekend. What a perfect time for the Lobo basketball teams to hang out with family and friends. It was also a great time for the teams to work on extending their family of fans and getting a lot of kids out of their temporary homes and into a permanent home filled with love.
The University of New Mexico men's and women's basketball teams spent a recent Saturday being big brothers and big sisters to a bunch of young All-Stars at Lobo Fever. These are not just any All-Stars. These All-Stars were adoption-available children without an identified adoptive family. Lobo Fever is an annual event sponsored by New Mexico Children, Youth & Families Department, UNM Athletics, the Heart Gallery of New Mexico Foundation, CASA 1st Judicial District and The Adoption Exchange.
According to Diane Granito, CYFD Adoption Events Manager and the organizer of Lobo Fever, "Although the main reason that CYFD created this event was to help waiting children and approved adoptive families connect in a fun, relaxed atmosphere, anyone attending can see that all of the children who attend thoroughly enjoy this unique opportunity to meet and interact with the Lobo basketball teams."
The Lobos, who know a little about being adopted by a supportive community, provided a no-pressure situation at the Johnson Center South Gymnasium for the All-Stars to get some much needed attention and be observed by potential adoptive parents, the Lobo Fever coaches. Lobo Fever is one of those special times when you never know who is having more fun, the big kids or the little ones.
After being swarmed for autographs, the men's team coordinated the morning session of activities. Some competitive games of hot shot and 3 vs. 20 half-court gave the All-Stars and potential parents a chance to interact with several Lobos. Junior Dairese Gary and sophomores Will Brown and Phillip McDonald faced a swarming defense in the 3-on-20 game. One All-Star was able to get past Brown's defense by scooting between his legs bringing a lot of laughs from everyone.
In the afternoon session, the women's team took over the activities. Freshmen Jordan Unverzagt, Caroline Durbin, Chinyere Nnaji, and sophomore Sara Halasz divided a group into teams for a halfcourt game that freshman Jourdan Erskine officiated. Freshman Emily Stark and sophomore Porche Torrance spent some one-on-one time rebounding for other kids in attendance, while sophomore Lauren Taylor led a few rounds of the basketball version of Simon Says that got the potential parents laughing along with the All-Stars.
"As much fun as it was to have a great time interacting with the All-Stars, we were missing the interaction with the potential parents," said Taylor. "So I started one of our camp games called `Coach Says'. Everyone was willing to look a little silly, hopping on one foot, sliding left and right and slapping the floor while yelling `defense'. They had a great time together."
Were any matches made during Lobo Fever? The Lobos will have to wait and see. And who knows, there might be a future Lobo in the bunch.
Anyone interested in learning more about becoming adoptive or foster parents can contact CYFD at 1-800-432-2075 or visit CYFD.ORG.