Looking For A Home For The Holidays

By: Elizabeth Donatelli
By: Elizabeth Donatelli

December 21, 2005

The holidays are about being with family, but some children don't have one--in fact 115 kids are in foster care in Albemarle County, waiting to be adopted. Some have long-term families to live with, but others are bouncing around from home to home.

14-year-old Chris Grant is one of 20 children in Albemarle to be adopted in the last year.

"I never could do what my dream was, but when I came with my mother she let me expand my dream, but even make it bigger," said Chris.

He is one of the lucky ones. He started as a foster child, but Carolyn Grant knew she wanted him to be her son.

"I think after about 5 or 6 months together, I was his mother and he was my child and that was just the way it was going to be," said Ms. Grant.

Chris says he is happy and has seen great changes in his life.

"My grades have gone dramatically up," said Chris.

There is a high demand for foster families, especially those of color and those willing to take more than one child.

"We're looking for families who are mature and are able to put the needs of a child first," said Janie Gray Hunter, social worker in Albemarle County.

Many foster parents eventually become adoptive parents.

"I would recommend it highly because it is a true gift to a child and to your own family," said Ms. Grant.

It changes the child's life.

"They say at my age I wasn't supposed to get adopted. Most kids at my age don't, but I broke that and kept thinking to myself that I'm going to get adopted and I prayed," said Chris. "You just gotta keep believing in the dream."

Chris isn't the only lucky one in the Grant household--because his mom is adopting another son who has been in her foster care for two years.

If you are interested in becoming a foster parent the first step is contacting Social Services for more information.

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