Hundred of thousands of children in this country desperately need our help. They are often shuffled from home to home. And they dream of getting to stay someday, of attending the same school year after year, of making friends and not saying good-bye. Most of all they dream of having a family who loves them.
They are Americas waiting children. They are waiting to be adopted.
In America today, more than 550,000 boys and girls are in the foster care system. An estimated 134,000 of them are available for adoption. Thats 134,000 too many. Even one child without a permanent home is unacceptable.
Most people dont realize what waiting children go through in order to find a home and family. In our state, the average foster child spends approximately 12 to 18 months in the foster care system before being adopted or returned to the care of their parents. Many of them wait for an entire childhood. Think about what three years means in the life of a child. Childhood is not an endless period of time that can wait for a bureaucracy to find solutions to family problems.
We need to tell these childrens stories. The Childrens Action Network has partnered with the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption to create a national CBS television special called A Home for the Holidays that focuses on adoption and tells very personal stories about how adoption has touched peoples lives.
Americans waiting children come in all shapes and sizes, colors and ages. Some may be medically fragile or want to be adopted with a brother or sister. But they all have such wonderful potential, and want what millions of other children who are growing up in America have: a chance for love, protection and support. These terrific kids need and deserve our help.
To learn about waiting children in our area, or about the adoption process, call the Columbia County Department of Family and Children Services at (706) 541-1640. And please, tune in to A Home for the Holidays. It airs locally on Friday, Dec. 21, at 8 p.m. on WRDW TV-12.
Judy H. Richards
Social Services Supervisor
Columbia County Department
of Family and Children Services
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