Following the Yellow Brick Road to Adoption Day!

Nov 06 2018

Wizard of Oz characters

by Ashika Sethi

On November 1, 2018, 51 children were adopted by their forever families. Every year during Adoption Day, CASA staff dress up as characters from The Wizard of Oz to help make the adoption process as magical as possible for the families involved. From Dorothy to the Tin Man, we interviewed each staff member to find out how they prepared for their important role on Adoption Day:

Dorothy

Bree Taylor, Volunteer Relations Specialist

What about the character of Dorothy speaks to you?
Dorothy is a strong woman. There may be times when she gets scared, but she doesn’t let that defeat her. She stands up for herself and all her Oz friends; she is a helper, giver, and encourager.

What is your favorite scene or song from The Wizard of Oz?
I love the all the songs related to the Munchkins; "The Lullaby League", "The Lollipop Guild", and "We Welcome You to Munchkin Land".

What are you planning to do to prepare for your role as Dorothy on Adoption Day?
I do like to watch the movie before Adoption Day to understand Dorothy a little better but also to remember the movie as a whole. After all, it is a good movie to watch.

Why is Adoption Day special for kids in foster care?
Adoption Day is special for kids in foster care for a multitude of reasons. I will say though that this is the “one” day where kids in foster care can have for just them; to celebrate them and their new beginnings with a family. It is also a day to recognize those children in the foster care system that don’t have their forever home just yet. A day to spotlight those children being forever adopted as well as those that still need a forever home. I love Adoption Day for we at CASA get to bring a little extra joy to those families celebrating an already magical day!

The Cowardly Lion

Stacie Cleland, Program Assistant

What about the character of The Cowardly Lion speaks to you?
I love how he was able to find the courage within himself to take his rightful seat on the throne as The King of the Jungle!  We all have the courage within ourselves to go about the scary parts of life—we just have to open our eyes to that fact!

What is your favorite scene or song from the The Wizard of Oz?
It’s a tie between "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" and "If I Only Had a Brain"!

What are you planning to do to prepare for your role as The Cowardly Lion on Adoption Day? 

I’ve been preparing for this role most of my life!  When I was in elementary school, my oldest sister was on the volleyball team of her high school, and the mascot was the Lion.  I used to dress in a Lion costume for her games and do cheers on the sidelines!  One of the mothers used to yell, “Go, Little Lion Girl!”, as I cheered.

Why is Adoption Day special for kids in foster care? 
There’s no place like home!

The Tin Man

Charlene Warnock, Database Administrator

What about the character of The Tin Man speaks to you? 
The Tin Man (or should I say Tin Woman!) is a great character and I truly enjoyed being a part of the cast. I identify with his quote, ”I shall take the heart. For brains do not make one happy, and happiness is the best thing in the world.” Isn’t that the truth?!

What is your favorite scene or song from The Wizard of Oz
"Somewhere Over the Rainbow" is my favorite song from the movie. I love how Dorothy sings it but my favorite version will always be by artist Israel Kamakawiwoʻole.

What are you planning to do to prepare for your role as The Tin Man on Adoption Day?  
To prepare, I needed to watch the movie first! I had never seen it before and I figured this was a good reason to do so. I also should thank my roommate for showing me several makeup videos on contouring, as I tried hard to give my freshly painted tin face some dimension. On the day of, I really appreciated help from fellow Oz characters (Ryan, Bree, Holly, and Stacie) and we had a great time taking pictures with families.

Why is Adoption Day special for kids in foster care?  
Adoption Day is a very special day for youth in foster care because it’s a day of new beginnings for them with their new families by having a judge officially declare it with their magical feather pen! I feel lucky to have seen these official declarations of “forever families” throughout the day and can’t wait for next year’s Adoption Day.

Scarecrow

Ryan Broussard, Training Specialist

What about the character of The Scarecrow speaks to you?
Scarecrow is probably the wittiest member of the group. He’s looking for brains, yet he is the thinker of the group. Scarecrow is the one that plots through everything they need to do along their journey, and does it well. Scarecrow is already a smart character, he just does not see it at the beginning of the story. He’s one of the smartest people in all of Oz by the end of the story (but really, he always was). It’s more a way of reframing how we think about what we consider our limitations. I think Scarecrow is admirable.

It’s the same thing with all the characters: Tin Man already loves deeply, Lion is already brave and fierce when it comes to fighting for his friends, Dorothy and her shoes. All of the characters have exactly what they are looking for all along. It’s a lovely sentiment. OZ is a particularly odd and magical place. 

This is a point that is better emphasized by the original book series. I have read many of the Oz books, and I own all of the incredible graphic novel series that adapted by Eric Shanower & Skottie Young (I LOVE his art style, especially for Oz), published by Marvel Comics.

What is your favorite scene or song from The Wizard of Oz?
I give it up to Judy Garland’s “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” every time. Immense talent she was. I’m also a fan of a song that was cut from the original movie, “The Jitterbug”. Look it up, it’s a catchy tune! I’m sad there wasn’t a song offered to the Wicked Witch, though. Sometimes you just need to hear a good villainous song, something with minor chords.

What are you planning to do to prepare for your role as Scarecrow on Adoption Day?
Lots of stretching. Scarecrow is a limber, clumsy guy (I am naturally clumsy, but limber? eehhh…). If I am going to attempt at all to really be like The Scarecrow, I gotta practice my pratfalls.

Why is Adoption Day special for kids in foster care?
Adoptions are all about recognizing children and their forever families, and celebrating Home. Adoption Day is taking that feeling and amplifying it times a million. It’s bright, it’s joyful, it’s what’s at the end of the road. It’s also a reminder to keep working to see that every kiddo can have a day to celebrate being Home, and to keep working until we see that day happen for them.

Glinda

Hollie Toups, Teen Advocacy Specialist

What about the character of Glinda speaks to you?
She looks out for Dorothy and helps find her way home but more importantly she shows Dorothy that the power lies within herself!

What is your favorite scene or song from The Wizard of Oz?
My favorite moment is when Dorothy meets the Scarecrow and my favorite song is "Somewhere Over the Rainbow"!

What are you planning to do to prepare for your role as Glinda on Adoption Day?
I'll be getting ready to help kids find their way to their forever home!

Why is Adoption Day special for kids in foster care?
Adoption Day is a special day because it is a day that everyone in the community can come together and celebrate family. It is almost like the final piece of the puzzle and a new beginning all at once. It is a day that many children in foster care dream of from the day they enter care. It represents hope, love and acceptance to so many and I am grateful to be a part of it!