Foster Care Month: Spotlighting my journey as a foster mother

By Charity Smith

As National Foster Care Month (May) comes to a close, I am excited to share about my life as a foster mom. Alongside my wife, Diana “Dee” Parkinson, I foster Arizona children with the hope that they are reunified with their biological families (when possible). 

Foster care moms Charity Smith and Dee Parkinson

Dee and I have different initial experiences with foster and adoptive care. Personally, I grew up in a large family, with aunts and uncles, and what seems like a million cousins. Some are biological, some are adopted, and some are fostered. Therefore, adoption and fostering were normalized for me from a very young age. When I got older, I knew that I wanted children and likely wouldn’t carry a child. So, these alternative options to become a mother seemed like a natural route for me. As for my wife, she would say she was lucky enough to have a crazy partner who pulled her towards the fostering/adoptive journey. 

We foster children through Arizona’s Children Association (AzCA). This organization has helped my wife and me so much, especially our talented licensing worker—who deserves a raise for dealing with our particular crazy! She helps us with anything from the basics of paperwork and understanding what’s on it to when everything must be turned in. Right now, we are going through our renewal period and we must fill out a stack of paperwork, that is easily two-thirds inches thick, and she helps us maintain a good pace to ensure we complete all of it on time. She is truly a Godsend when we have difficult week and feel insufficient, are not sure whom to contact for a specific need or need to advocate for the children in our care. Any time we have issues, we talk with her and she talks/texts us off a ledge!

Fostering children is a wonderful, yet challenging experience. In an ideal world, kids would come to our home and it would be nothing but rainbows and unicorns.

However, caring for children, especially children in the system, comes with unique ups and downs. Therefore, we focus on celebrating the fun milestones, like when a child catches up on something they were behind on in school or finally feels comfortable in our home. The coolest thing to see is when kids learn how to be kids again. In many situations, they must grow up quickly to adapt to their surroundings, and it is so rewarding to removed heavy burdens that they’ve been carrying around with them. When we get to see them do normal, every-day things like chill out, play sports, go to the park and simply play, that’s when my wife and I realize we’ve done something impactful for them. 

Thanks to AzCA, my wife and I have to ability to foster amazing children. We are both grateful for the opportunity to be a safe place for our foster children to grow and flourish! 

WhistlePig + Alfa Romeo F1

SHOREHAM, VT (September 13, 2023) — WhistlePig Whiskey, the leaders in independent craft whiskey, and Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake are waving the checkered flag on a legend-worthy release that’s taking whiskey to G-Force levels. The Limited Edition PiggyBack Legends Series: Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake Barrel is a high Rye Whiskey selected by the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake drivers, with barrels trialed in their wind tunnel to ensure a thrilling taste in every sip.

The third iteration in WhistlePig’s Single Barrel PiggyBack Legends Series, the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake Barrel is bottled at 96.77 proof, a nod to Valtteri Bottas’ racing number, 77, and the precision of racing. Inspired by Zhou Guanyu, the first Chinese F1 driver, this Rye Whiskey is finished with lychee and oolong tea. Herbal and floral notes of the oolong tea complement the herbaceous notes of WhistlePig’s signature PiggyBack 100% Rye, rounded out with a juicy tropical fruit finish and a touch of spice.

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by Spectrum Medical Care Center

Nurse Practitioner Ari Kravitz

When I started medical transition at 20 years old, it was very difficult to get the care I needed for hormone replacement therapy because there are very few providers trained in starting hormones for trans people, even though it’s very similar to the hormones that we prescribe to women in menopause or cisgender men with low testosterone.

I hope more providers get trained in LGBTQ+ healthcare, so they can support patients along their individual gender journey, and provide the info needed to make informed decisions about their body. I’ve personally seen my trans patients find hope and experience a better quality of life through hormone replacement therapy.

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Descanso Resort swimming pool and lounge area

Descanso Resort, Palm Springs' premier destination for gay men, just received Tripadvisor's highest honor, a Travelers' Choice "Best of the Best" award for 2023. Based on guests' reviews and ratings, fewer than 1% of Tripadvisor's 8 million listings around the world receive the coveted "Best of the Best" designation. Descanso ranked 12th in the top 25 small inns and hotels category in the United States. Quite an accomplishment!

Open less than two years, Descanso Resort offers gay men a relaxing and luxurious boutique hotel experience just minutes away from Palm Springs' buzziest restaurants, nightclubs, and shopping. Descanso has quickly established itself as a top destination for sophisticated gay travelers, earning hundreds of 5-star guest reviews and consistently ranking in Trapadvisor's top positions alongside brother properties Santiago Resort and Twin Palms Resort.

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