Axton, VA – 30 Days of Hope was a huge success again this year thanks to many of you who saw children and called to find out how to adopt them.
There are thousands of children in foster care in Virginia and more than 600 can be adopted out of foster care.
We have an exciting update from a family in Axton who adopted two children after seeing the need.
Chelsey and Eric Holland are proud parents, showing off photos of their two children. After years of trying to conceive, they turned to foster care, learning about 30 Days of Hope last year.
"I think it's an eye-opener to how many children are in foster care and how many need homes," said Chelsey.
They saw a picture of a little boy and girl who could be adopted.
"It was like an instant connection. From then on I was 100% in," said Eric.
"We were not looking for a six and nine-year-old, not at all. We were looking for 3 and under and we have them," said Chelsey.
They got the call before Christmas last year that they were approved. The children moved in earlier this year. We're not showing their faces because their birth family doesn't know where they are.
The Hollands say it was a big adjustment.
"Really just loving them, showing them support and helping them get through things, understand things and be able to go day today and just us as a family instead of just two strangers we moved in with," said Chelsey.
The adoption was finalized in October.
"Our family feels more complete now. Had an empty spot in our hearts and they've definitely filled that for us for sure," said Eric.
"It's so good because they are our children. It's really like they're not adopted. It's really like my son and my daughter. It doesn't even feel like I didn't have them for those years that I didn't. It's really just a blessing," said Chelsey.
"Every child needs to have a permanent home, every child needs to know that security, that anchor, that permanent relationship," said Karen Hughes, the Intercept Foster family trainer supervisor who worked with the couple to get them through the foster care process. "It really has a profound impact on children when they don't have that permanence in their lives."
According to the National Foster Youth Institute:
- there's less than a 3-percent chance of a child who ages out achieving high education
- only half will have a job by the age of 24
- seven out of ten girls who age out will become pregnant before the age of 21
"I feel like a lot of times sometimes they get labeled as a foster kid but they're no different than anybody else's kids. They deserve the same opportunity," said Eric.
An opportunity the Hollands gave to two children, who now have a forever home.
"Thanks to 10 News, the 30 Days of Hope, our family is complete now and we have not one but two beautiful children that we love dearly," said Chelsey.
If you would like to learn more about foster care/adoption, contact Cindy Davis at DePaul Community Resources at firstname.lastname@example.org or 540.381.1848 x 4009 or online at www.depaulcr.org
There are more than 600 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.