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“Wednesday’s Child”

A few weeks ago I filmed a TV segment with Scott Light of NBC Channel 12 EVB Live. The segment is called “Wednesday’s Child.” Scott now fills the shoes of longtime, now retired, Channel 12 anchor Kent Dana, who started the monthly segments more than 20 years ago. “Wednesday’s Child” is a profile of special-needs children available for adoption thru AASK, Aid to Adoption of Special Kids. In a 2009 interview, just before Kent Dana was to be inducted into the Arizona Broadcasters Hall of Fame, he said, “I’ve profiled over 1,000 kids over the years, and close to 80 percent were adopted. That show really changed lives, and it was a fun thing to do.”

It was fun for me to do too. You may recall that I am good friends with Tram Mai, Scott’s co-host on EVB Live. Tram had mentioned to Scott that I was adopted, so he asked if it would be all right to ask me a few questions about that during my interview portion of the segment. I, of course, said it would be absolutely fine…. but then I met Robby…

The first people to show up at my house that morning were three women from AASK, including the two videographers. Next came Robby and his foster dad. I fell for Robby the second I saw him.  My heart just melted as we talked and then even more so as we cooked and hung out afterward.

Scott and a couple more people from AASK came and we got busy with the filming. The shoot was of Robby and me cooking together in the kitchen. He was so sweet and interested and curious and polite and sweet, oh I already said sweet. He had wonderful manners and insisted on helping me clean up. Then, as the adults all gathered to figure out how and where to shoot the interview portions of the segment, Robby and I played a little Foosball outside on the back patio. I’m pretty good – but he beat me.  Next, Scott came out and Robby beat him too. He has so much joy and confidence for a child who has not had it easy and who has been shuffled around.

You might think that AASK is only for kids with physical, mental, or emotional special needs. There is any number of needs that make a kid “special” and in Robby’s case all I could see that made him “special” was that he is 12 years old, not an infant, who is up for adoption. You can check out Robby’s AASK profile HERE to see what I mean, this little boy stole my heart! Oh, and we made the Lasagna Soup recipe you will find below – just take a look at the list of foods he likes. I didn’t know a thing about it until about an hour ago when I pulled up his profile to write this! That just makes me smile.

The segment will run sometime tomorrow on EVB Live between 4:00 – 5:30 PM.  I am dreading it a little bit tough, because after Robby and his foster dad had gone, while Scott was interviewing me alone, I broke down. I don’t know how much, if any, of that they will show, but I’ve never cried on camera before. What if it’s the “ugly cry” as Oprah calls it? I have no idea how they will edit the interview. Channel 12 doesn’t do any of that portion, they just provide Scott and the airtime, AASK does the rest.

Oh well, it is what it is, that sweet boy and the position he, and so many other children like him are in, just breaks my heart. So if the segment has any impact and helps him get adopted by a loving family, any old ugly cry is worth it!

I created this soup about 10 years ago for summer classes and I dug it out again since it is so kid-friendly and something we could easily and quickly put together on television. It is a perfect “easy-breezy” for a weekday dinner.

Lasagna Soup

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound Italian turkey or chicken sausage, casings removed
1 medium onion, peeled and diced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
3 large cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
4 cups chicken broth
15-ounce can tomato sauce
14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, with juices
5 “no-boil” lasagna noodles, broken into bite-size pieces
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large pot. Add the sausage, and use a spatula to break and crumble, stirring occasionally until sausage is no longer pink about 10 minutes. Stir in the onion, bell pepper, and garlic. Cook stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft and the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes more. Stir in the salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes.

Add the chicken broth, tomato sauce, and diced tomatoes with their juices, Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the flavors are blended about 20 minutes.

Stir in the broken noodles; bring back up to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the soup thickens slightly and the noodles are tender about 10 minutes. Taste and season with more salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes, if needed.

Remove from the heat; stir in mozzarella, basil, and Parmesan.  Serve hot, topping with additional cheese, if desired.

Serves 8

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1 comment

1 Pat { 02.21.12 at 2:18 PM }

What an adorable looking boy. I hope he gets adopted. I’m sure it was emotional for you. I wish I could see the segment. My son was so lucky that your adoption worked out so well for him, because otherwise how would you have met? xoxoxoxox

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