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Savannah: 30 Days of Hope

“I like to play with dogs and cats. I love animals”

“I like to play with dogs and cats. I love animals”

There are more than 600 children who are ready for 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 5:30 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. 2021 marks the fifth year 10 News is doing this series.


Meet Savannah

“I like to play with dogs and cats. I love animals,” said 16-year-old Savannah, who spends a lot of time at the animal shelter.

“Savannah is a very nurturing person. She has a very nurturing soul. She likes to be a giver. She enjoys being a friend to other people. She likes to be able to take care of people, just like she does with animals,” said Morgan Young, Savannah’s case manager.

“I like helping other people out. I would help out girls that have post-traumatic stress disorder. I want to go to a hospital for girls like that so I could help them out,” said the teen.

“Whoever is going through stuff, stay strong because hope is out there,” Savannah said before we asked if she had hope. “I try but I’m 16, not a lot of families want teenagers. They like babies. I hope an amazing family comes and rescues me so I can be in a family.”

She’s been in foster care for years.

“I think adoption would give Savannah that opportunity to lead a normal, healthy, happy life where she could have the opportunity to have some stability in consistency in her life,” said Sara Pugliese, Shenandoah Valley Social Services Family Services Specialist. “She’s looking for a family that can call her own that can provide that love and support.”

Pugliese thinks Savannah would do best in a family that has a very strong, caring and involved female figure.

We asked the teen what kinds of things she would like to do with a family.

“Be a daughter. I haven’t gotten that chance for a very long time,” Savannah told us.

Savannah also likes walks, nature, music, art, thrift store shopping and music. The teen says Dustin Lynch, Upchurch and Jelly Roll are some of her favorite artists.

“She loves to journal. One of her current favorite things is journaling about music that she listens to to try to understand how the lyrics make her feel and how it applies to what’s going on in her life,” said Pugliese. “She loves sweets. We went to eat at a buffet one time and she couldn’t get to the sweet bar fast enough.”

She also likes painting.

“I get paint and I put it in paper, close it together and it will make a pretty pattern,” said Savannah.

She has been diagnosed with autism and you would get resources and services if you took her in.

“I think Savannah will be able to be pretty self-sufficient after she turns 18. I think she’ll always need continuing guidance and support from a caregiver, but ultimately if she’s given the proper tools, I think she could live a successful life on our own,” said Pugliese.

“Prior to having her autism diagnosis, she had a family friend who had I believe it was three young children who were diagnosed with autism,” Pugliese told us. “She truly, truly cared about them and loved going over to their house and being able to help the parents care for their children. Savannah often talks about it’s her goal in life to work in the field of autism and to help those that may have that diagnosis.”


If you have questions about Savannah or foster care/adoption, contact VDSS Division of Family Services, Juliet Baldwin, Adoption Recruitment Coordinator, at adoptioninquiries@dss.virginia.gov.

To see other 30 Days of Hope stories visit us here: https://www.wsls.com/topic/30_Days_Of_Hope/

We also have a list of frequently asked questions about foster care and adoption including the cost, training, etc in this link.


About the Author:

You can see Jenna weekday mornings at the anchor desk on WSLS 10 Today from 5-7 a.m.