OKLAHOMA CITY – November is recognized as National Adoption Month and the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) continues to have an urgent need for foster and adoptive families. The agency is reaching out to Oklahomans through an original song and music video, presented from the perspective of waiting children, hoping to encourage families to consider fostering or adopting.
The song, "Best Night Ever," was written and composed by Tayvon Lewis, an OKDHS Child Welfare Specialist. Lewis, who is a music producer in his spare time, was adopted at a young age and knows first-hand the joy of finding his forever family.
"The lyrics and beat of the song are my way of expressing how a child might feel with the love and support of a foster or adoptive family," said Lewis. "I wanted this song to benefit children in foster care in hopes of encouraging more people to consider fostering and adoption."
OKDHS partnered with the Academy of Contemporary Music at the University of Central Oklahoma (ACM@UCO) who donated their music studio, staff and students for the recording and mixing of the song, and also with the University of Oklahoma Video Media Services to produce the video. The recorded song and video feature children and youth in foster care, as well as children who have already been adopted, and the children of OKDHS staff. It is also a feature in the FY 2019 OKDHS Annual Report.
"We are so thankful for Tayvon, not only for giving us this gift of his music, but for choosing to work at OKDHS and bringing his compassion and unique perspective to the children we serve," said Dr. Deborah Shropshire, Director of Child Welfare Services. "We are also grateful for our university partners working alongside us, supporting children in foster care and our mission at OKDHS. Our joint hope is that this fun, creative approach will reach potential foster families in a whole new way and shine a light on the talent and spirit of children and youth in state custody."
The video is available in three-minute, one-minute and 30-second versions. OKDHS plans to use the videos in ongoing foster care and adoption recruitment campaigns.
"Everyone can support foster care and adoption in a way that leverages their talents," said Shropshire. "We can't do this work alone and need families, businesses, partners and leaders in every community to join us in serving and protecting Oklahoma's children and families."
For more information about becoming a foster or adoptive parent, call 800-376-9729 or visit https://okfosters.org/. To view the Best Night Ever video, visit https://video.oucpm.org/2019/05/best-night-ever/ and also the OKDHS Facebook and YouTube accounts.