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Western Pennsylvania has a strong tradition of neighborhood, personal and community commitment. Our pride in pulling together goes far beyond supporting our deep-rooted sports teams. 90.5 WESA Celebrates People Making a Difference honors the individuals that are making a difference in people's lives on the ground level and reminding us we are all truly a part of each other's lives.This special series, supported by UPMC, will highlight, honor and celebrate Western Pennsylvanians who are unsung heroes daring to make a difference to others in our community.00000176-e6f7-dce8-adff-f6f770c8000000000176-e6f7-dce8-adff-f6f770ca000000000176-e6f7-dce8-adff-f6f770cc000090.5 WESA PA listening area counties:Allegheny, Beaver, Washington, Westmoreland, Butler, Armstrong, Cambria, Somerset, Bedford, Fayette, Indiana00000176-e6f7-dce8-adff-f6f770cd0000This project is made possible by a generous contribution from UPMC.

By Spreading Awareness, Wexford Woman Hopes To Find Homes For Orphans

Rebekah Zook
90.5 WESA

Deanna Blincow has been working with the Orphan Care Ministry since its conception in 2007, and serving as its director since 2012.

Within this time frame, she has witnessed at least 25 families she knows personally go through the intense process of adopting a child, and has counseled countless others.

“My husband and I adopted two children out of an orphanage in Russia, so we did an international adoption about 17 years ago. That’s really what started it for us,” Blincow said.

Their trip to Russia changed their lives, Blincow said, and the size of their family forever.

“We just thought that if we could take these kids home to the families that we know, they would love them and give them a home,” she said referring to the other children in the orphanage.

Blincow was part of the team that first started Orphan Care Ministry, a service housed within North Way Community Church in Wexford, and has been a driving force behind its expansion ever since.

It’s important to Blincow that people are educated about the needs of abandoned children. She said it goes far beyond a family’s willingness to adopt. The process is long and sometimes convoluted, and it’s only after the adoption process, Blincow said, that the real work begins.

“Adoptions aren’t fairytales,” she said. “They always begin with a loss.”

It’s for this reason that the Orphan Care Ministry strives to provide not just adoption services, but also mentoring, financial support, retreats for new parents and informational seminars that give prospective families the resources they may not always realize they need.

“There are so many ways to help,” Blincow said. “A lot of people I think hear ‘orphan care’ and quit listening … that’s a lot of what our ministry is about, is just awareness, and seeing a need.”

Orphan Care Ministry holds an annual expo that brings together prospective adoptees, the resources that support them and dozens of other organizations that aim to aid children in need.