Being in foster care can make a child feel unwanted and alone. For one 16-year-old boy, he thought that he would never have a family. Anthony had been in the system since he was 9 years old and had frankly given up all hope of ever getting adopted.
Anthony was in English class one week when an idea popped in his head. He had an incredible bond with his English teacher, Bennie Berry, so he just asked her if she would adopt him. A little surprised, she made a deal with him that if he would finish his assignment, she would look at the adoption website.
When she found out adoption was really an option, she decided to start the adoption process.
After a couple months the process is finally at an end. Anthony was adopted by his English teacher, and they are both grateful and excited.
"I really couldn't sleep last night," Anthony told a reporter at the courthouse where the adoption was being finalized.
"I have a son. I'm more than elated," Bennie said. "I have a son for the rest of my life."
Now they have a family. They both have someone to celebrate holidays with for the rest of their lives, and Anthony never has worry about feeling unwanted or alone.
I love this story, but whenever I hear stories about adoption, I always ask myself what I can do to help. Here are three ways you can help the children in your area:
Become aware of the problem
There are so many organizations seeking help for the children in your area. Look around, ask around and help.
According to adoption.com there are several things you can do to help foster children in your area besides becoming a foster parent.
1. Volunteer at a school. There are many after school programs that need volunteers, whether it's a sports team or a reading program.
2. Provide respite care. Foster children can't be babysat by just anyone - it has to be someone approved by the state. Sign up to be part of the respite care program. You'll be giving foster parents a break and getting to spend time with children in need.
3. Support a foster family. Whether it's helping them by mowing their lawn or making them dinner, there are a lot of things you can do to help the family.
Remember that money isn't the only thing you can donate. Clothes, toys, bikes and food are all things that will help foster children in your area. Look online for places that are accepting donations. There are a lot of places seeking donations - especially this time of year.
There are so many children in need. Don't be afraid to reach out and help. Even the small efforts can make a big difference in a child's life!