ROANOKE, Va. – There are more than 700 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 during the hours of 6 a.m. and 5 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. 2022 marks the sixth year 10 News is doing this series.
“I like to play sports. I play volleyball, basketball, soccer, but my favorite is volleyball,” said Reanna, who is 14 years old. “I’ll play setter or middle blocker.”
We visited the Roanoke Pinball Museum and Roanoke Starcade, where we saw just how competitive Reanna can be when playing sports. She plays center or point guard when she plays basketball.
Friends would describe the 14-year-old as fun, kind and athletic.
“I like to listen to music and talk to friends and hang out with my friends and spend time with them,” she said. “I want to be a nurse or a teacher because I like helping people and helping people is one of the things that I enjoy most. I feel like everybody deserves more than one chance in your life, and I also feel like everybody deserves to have a friend that they can listen to.”
“She is extremely kind to younger children. She’s very sensitive to when someone’s feeling bad or something and she will automatically without thinking, start trying to figure out ways to make them feel better. Make them smile,” said Barbie Merlette, who works for Russell County Department of Social Services as a Family Services Specialist. “These kids are are my heart. I work with them sometimes for years and years and years and often I’m the only steady in their life. I work hard to try to connect them with people that I think would be a permanent connection in their life because my dream for them is for them to have a family.”
Reanna said she really wants a family with younger parents, “I really want a mom and a dad, and I would like to be in a home with littler kids or a sister that is closer to my age.”
“She wants to be a part of a family that understands her, and gets her, and doesn’t give up on her. She’s had a lot of issues in the past where grownups have given up on her and it’s been really hard for her. She’s had a lot of loss like a lot of kids in foster care as well,” said Merlette. “I think she has the potential to be really, really great and do some great things. Just if she’s given the right opportunities and guidance.”
Reanna needs an energetic family who will take her to sporting events and do things outside because she’s so active.
She likes the beach and the sound of the waves. The teen’s favorite subject in school is civics because she says it’s easy. Reanna likes pizza and spaghetti, sweet tea, and said she would choose salty snacks over sweet ones.
“Reanna is just she’s very bright. She can present this a little shy when you first get to know her. But once you get to know her, she’ll open up to you a little bit. She’s not real trusting at first. But once you kind of break that little barrier she’s very trusting,” said Merlette.
If you have questions about Reanna or foster care/adoption, contact VDSS Division of Family Services Adoption Recruitment Coordinator, at email@example.com.
To see other 30 Days of Hope stories visit us here.
We also have a list of frequently asked questions about foster care and adoption including the qualifications, cost, and training required in this link.