Hi y'all. It's been a while since I wrote for this blog. Meanwhile life has gone on and there's a whole new batch of kids in the foster care system that are waiting to be placed in permanent homes.
Just as they've done since 2009, every couple of months the Children's Action Network invites a bunch of these children for a day of fun, food and play, and films the kids talking about themselves.
The purpose of the films is of course, to find homes for the children, but wider than that, the purpose is to make people aware of the more than 100,000 kids in foster care across the country waiting to be adopted. They are kids of all ages and ethnicities, none of whom did anything to create their situation. They were all removed from their biological parents because of abuse or neglect.
Almost 30,000 of them age out of the system when they turn 18 without ever finding a permanent family. Kids who enter "adulthood" without any strong attachments to people who know and care about them have a rough road ahead, to say the least. This is why some of the kids we film are as old as 17. It's never too late to be adopted!
I was at the most recent filming a couple of weeks ago, and I gotta say, I always love the kids we film, but these, in particular, were all so special. You can see the first of these videos here on this page.
Check out Change a Child's Life at childrensactionnetwork.org for more films and information.
Layla, Josh and Samantha are a trio of delightful, engaging, siblings. They laugh easily. Horse around a lot, squabble and have fun. They're a family unit in need of permanent parents.
Layla 13, is legally blind. She uses a cane to get around and is very good at it. When she meets a new person, me - for instance, she feels their hands and hair, and almost always tells them they're beautiful or so cute. I walked around the yard with her "looking for treasures". She asked if she could call me Mrs. R. She has a huge imagination, pretending that the steps (which she found easy to navigate) were covered in deep snow. She is happy, curious, enthusiastic and excited about everything. She LOVES school and her teacher. She reads Braille and does math. She loves her sister Samantha... "she's so cute and gorgeous!!" She wants to be an artist or a vet or a teacher. She's happy her brother does well in school and gets good grades. Layla loves swimming, and messing around in the pool. So do her brother and sister. Layla LOVES cats.
Josh 10, hates cats...hissing, scaredy cats. He likes dogs and wants a golden retriever.
Samantha 7, like horses. She rode one once. She wants a big horse. Josh thinks they smell. Layla says horses stink real bad and need a bath.
Josh likes sports, especially basketball and soccer. He likes video games and is wiz at Legos. He loves his sisters but is constantly annoyed by them like every brother surrounded by 2 girls. He says they talk too much, especially Layla. "He thinks I'm a big motormouth", says Layla. Josh agrees, "All she likes to do is chit and chat! I get a headache!"
Samantha wants to go to Disneyland. Layla wants to go to the beach with her class. Josh wants to go to China.
Layla wants a family that likes her a lot. No smoking and no drugs. She wants to feel safe.
Josh, who feels responsible for looking after his siblings, wants a family where he can be a kid, and where there's good food. He loves new foods. He once ate an entire jalapeño pepper...and survived.
They are all surviving now, with each other as ballasts. But to thrive, they need a family.