Keeping up with six-year old Donald is just part of the fun. This active youngster is one of Iowa's many 'Waiting Children,' and loves to get outside and be on the go. Donald's Foster Mom says he's what you might call fearless, when it comes to the outdoors and trying new things.
Foster mom, Beverly Upah, says, "He's very happy. He loves schools. He loves playing with his friends," says Donald's Foster mom, Beverly Upah. She adds, "The best things about him is he is such an outdoor child."
Upah adds, "The only thing he likes better is riding his bike around town, that he calls his big-boy bike. Cause, we love our big boy bike, right? We love our big boy bike"
Donald is now legally free for adoption by a new family. Beverly believes, "A great family for him would be people that do stuff outdoors. He loves to take walks. He loves to ride his bike and do anything that's outside."
"He understands adoption to a point. Being 6-years old, sometimes he gets it and sometimes he doesn't. But, he wants to belong so bad, and know that he's not going to get moved around anymore and have to go from house to house to house. It can be hard sometimes, because he is 6-years old."
To learn more about Donald, or any of Iowa's Waiting children, as always, please contact IowaKidsNet on the toll free number 1-800-243-0756. This is 6-year old Donald on Iowa's Child.
Many Iowa families work with IowaKidsNet. Iowa KidsNet is a statewide collaboration of agencies which utilizes a unique, cohesive approach to provide recruitment, training, licensing and continued support to individuals who wish to become foster and adoptive parents.
IowaKidsNet is a partnership of Iowa social service agencies, including Four Oaks, Children's Square USA, Family Resources, LSI, Quakerdale and affiliate Youth and Shelter Services. For more information, call 1-800-243-0756. November is National Adoption month.
"Every child deserves to have a permanent connection to a caring and supportive adult," says Kelli Malone, Iowa KidsNet project director.
Malone says, "Each year about 26,000 youth turn 18 and age out of foster care without having permanent family connections. This November we urge more Iowans to consider becoming foster or adoptive parents, especially for older youth, or find ways to raise awareness in their own communities about the needs of Iowa children in foster care."
According to the Iowa Department of Human Services, as of August 2012, there were about 765 children in Iowa who were legally eligible for adoption, meaning parental rights had been terminated.
Many of these children already have an adoptive home identified with a relative or a foster family, while others are still waiting for an adoptive home.
On March 31, 2012, there were approximately 6,100 Iowa children in foster care, which includes placements in non-relative foster homes, relative foster care, group homes, institutional care, supervised independent living or on trial home visits.
More foster and adoptive parents who can care for teenagers, sibling groups and children with special needs are urgently needed, said Malone. There is also a large need for more African American and Latino foster and adoptive families.
In all Iowa counties, including Black Hawk County, Iowa KidsNet offers free post-adoption support services for families who have adopted a child through the Iowa Department of Human Services.
Of the 104,000 children in the U.S. waiting to be adopted from foster care, some will wait five years or more to be adopted, a lifetime to a child.
To learn more about foster care, Iowa's 'Waiting Children' and adoption, contact IowaKidsNet at 1-800-243-0756, or online at: www.iowakidsnet.com.
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