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Meet Michael: He likes technology, exploring nature and hopes to be a veterinarian

ROANOKE, Va. – Every child needs love and the hope of a bright future, but thousands in Virginia don't have that. Those are the children in foster care.

For the third year, 10 News anchor Jenna Zibton is highlighting the need for foster and adoptive families in 30 Days of Hope.

From this series, many children have been matched with families. Chelsey and Eric Holland from Axton adopted two children last year.

For the next 30 days, you'll see the faces of children from our area who can be adopted. They need loving homes, just like yours.

Michael Thomas, 16, wants to go to college and eventually become a veterinarian or do something with technology. He likes sports, helping out with animals and going into the woods and discovering new things.

"I like all the things that technology can do," said Michael, who is currently in foster care. "I just know if I do technology, I want to build things and fix things."

With all the gadgets, computers and cameras here at WSLS, there's always something to work on, as he saw during our tour.

Michael is just one of 5,300 children in foster care across Virginia.

More than 700 can be adopted, including Michael.

"Every child deserves a safe, loving and supportive home where they can feel included and have a sense of belonging," said Taylor Vaughn, Roanoke County family services specialist. 

Vaughn is Michael's case manager.

"He can crack a joke really fast; he's very witty," said Vaughn. "He makes really good grades in school."

Vaughn says the best family for Michael is one that's not going to give up on him, that will work with him through all the trials and errors in life. 

"When we eat breakfast, we all eat together. We talk about our likes and what we want to do today as a family activity," said Michael, of his perfect family. "We just hang out and we go do outings and have fun, and we all care about each other and love each other."

Michael also likes camping, hiking, football, basketball and wrestling.

For the next 30 days, you'll see the faces of children who can be adopted, just like Michael.

You'll hear what they like and how they have hopes and dreams of becoming a doctor or police officer, just like other kids.

Consider taking in one of these children. You can give them a home and hope.

If you have questions about Michael or foster care/adoption, contact Shannon Shepherd at DePaul Community Resources at sshepherd@depaulcr.org, (276) 623-0881 ext. 1519 or online at www.depaulcr.org.

There are more than 700 children who are ready for foster to adoption in Virginia. They are ready to find a permanent and loving forever family. 10 News is profiling one child who needs a home every day at 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. in 30 Days of Hope. The children are all ages and races and were put into foster care due to no fault of their own. 2019 marks the third year 10 News is doing this series.
 


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