Happy HOTNESS in the San Joaquin Valley. Just remember it’s a “dry heat,” drink lots of ice water and hum Jingle Bells!

We have had the most amazing situations happen with one of our adoption finalizations on June 30th. Carson Petersen was adopted by his Forever Family at the age of 18! That never happens. Most people who adopt want a newborn, an infant or a preschool age child. BUT Tex and Renee Petersen did both! They have one biological son, Hunter age 19 and three adopted children Carson 18, Kaylynn 4 and Joshua 2. That is the “Readers Digest Version” of the story.

I have become friends with Carmen George who writes the “Special Interest” stories at The Fresno Bee. She did a sensational story on our kids at Christmastime. Whenever we have some “good news” to report I call and give her “the scoop!” So with Carson and the Petersen’s permission, I called her before I went to MI on vacation and let her know about the adoption finalization, happening June 30th at Fresno County Superior Court House, and media is invited and allowed to come to the Party!!! Carmen, her photographer, John Walker, and a whole room full of family, friends, our staff, Fresno County social workers and of course Judge Green packed the court room. Carmen did an outstanding job covering the event. John took great pictures and videos. The Fresno Bee story has gone all over the country through social media. Good Morning America, Inside Edition, People Magazine (website) and other media and radio outlets (K-Love) have featured Carson’s story. If you are interested in hearing more about Carson’s story, just google Carson Petersen Adoption and the links will appear. It’s very easy…even I can do it! Most of the stories didn’t include RAY OF HOPE, A Valley Teen Ranch Organization, but we have shared it through our social media pages. You can forward it to your friends via social media too. What technology can do is beyond what I could ever imagine or begin to understand! God knows and He is totally on our side, especially with this situation!

Our young men and staff at the Ranch will be going to Calvin Crest Camp for a week before school starts on August 17th. The cost is $155/person. If you would like to sponsor one of our kids, that would be awesome. The cost for this activity is not an allowable cost with money we receive from the Government for caring for our kids.

ALSO, we are having our 16th Annual Fall Luncheon on September 23rd from 10:30-1:30 at the Golden Palace. You can purchase tickets for $40 by going to www.valleyteenranch.org or by using the enclosed envelope. Our theme is “It’s a Black and White Event.” It’s going to be awesome. Lunch is being catered by the Chef and the Painted Table Restaurant. Hope to see you there!

Thanks for being a part of our team and helping to support all the work we are doing with kids like Carson, Kaylynn, Joshua and the Petersen family, just to name a few. I appreciate and value your support, friendship and prayers.

Stay Strong and have courage,


Connie R. Clendenan, CEO Valley Teen Ranch