GREENSBORO, NC – “I’ve been dreaming for a family almost ever since I came to foster care and knew that I could be adopted,” said 12-year old Makayla. “I’ve been dreaming about this, and it’s so important to me.” Makayla has been in foster care for more than five years.
November is National Adoption Month and Children’s Home Society of North Carolina (CHSNC) is helping to raise awareness about the need for adoptive families for older youth in foster care. Every year more than 100,000 children in the United States, including over 2,400 in North Carolina, are eligible for adoption according to CHSNC. Most adoptive children are 7 to 17 years of age.
Makayla plans to become a chemist helping people with cancer. “My aunt had cancer and died from it, and I don’t want anyone else to suffer like that,” Makayla added.
“If I could have one wish, it would be a place to call home … and everyone having a place they can call home,” said 17-year old Montavious. “A foster home is a temporary place … it’s not permanent.”
Seeking a permanent family and adoption, Montavious plans a career in biology or computer programming. “My experiences make me who I am, but they do not control who I will become,” he added.
“Without family, you are stuck in life,” said 14-year-old Tucker. “When I was little, I lost my mom, and there’s nothing I can do about it but to move on with life and make better choices.”
Tucker’s favorite subjects are history and archeology, but one day he hopes to be a professional basketball player and “have a mansion.”
“I like to write. I want to find a home, so I wrote a story about a dog trying to find a home,” said 9-year old Heather, a budding third-grade writer and artist. “The dog was trying to find a family and found a home on Christmas.”
These and dozens of hard-life stories told by adoptable children brimming with hope and ambition can be seen and heard on the Children’s Home Society of North Carolina website.
“Every child has the right to a permanent, safe, and loving family,” said Brook Wingate, Vice President Philanthropy of CHSNC. “Children who age out of foster care have a high rate of teen pregnancy, incarceration, substance abuse, and a lack of college or career training.”
Wingate encourages families, couples, and singles interested in learning more about adoption to attend a two-hour informational meeting. The meetings are free, scheduled across the state every month, and with no obligation.
“When a child is adopted, the trajectory changes for the child and future generations,” said Wingate. “Families make such a positive difference in the life of a child and the health of a community.”
“One of the biggest challenges is having enough staff,” said Wingate. “Ultimately, it boils down to financial resources to have more social workers doing the important field work, and carefully selecting and matching the right foster care and adoptive families to work with these wonderful children.”
To meet the financial challenge, Children’s Home Society of North Carolina, the largest private adoption agency in the state, launched The Promise of Family campaign, a five-year fundraiser and plan to dramatically boost the number of completed adoptions and increase the size of its enhanced foster care to permanency program.
“A child without a family is unacceptable,” said Wingate. “With a permanent, safe, and loving family we believe the potential of every child is unlimited.”
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