RIDGELAND, MS (WLBT) - November is National Adoption Month and National Adoption day is all about raising awareness of the more than 117,000 children in the U.S. foster care system waiting to find permanent, loving families.
“I didn’t realize the extent of it until we got into it," said Lindsey Rowland. "And then you hear about all the children that are needed to find placements, and kids in group homes. Just kids that need permanent places to call home.”
Lindsey Rowland met her soon to be son two years ago when he was just a baby. She has been fostering him ever since.
“It was just something, just something we felt God was calling us to do for him,” said Rowland.
In just a few weeks, the boy will officially be the newest addition to the Rowland family.
“My kids love him,” explained Rowland. "They completely understand and they love him regardless and he us just meant to be there for them too.
There is an unfortunate reality, and that’s the role that age plays in a child’s chances of being adopted and or fostered. In other words, adopting or fostering a teenager is different that adopting or fostering a young child.
Marcus Davenport is the Deputy Director of the Adoption Unit for Mississippi Child Protective Services.
“We definitely need fostering and adoptive parents who are willing to love a child at any age,” said Davenport.
Brenda Jones began fostering nine years ago when her nephew was placed into the Child Protective Services.
“I didn’t want him dispersed so I got involved,” explained Jones. “I got my nephew.”
That's when she got her license to be a foster parent.
She says being a foster mother can be challenging, especially with older children.
“When they do come in, they don’t trust you, you know, and I can understand that,” Jones explained.
Jones says you just have to be patient.
“No matter what challenges you face, you cannot give up on them,” Jones added.
The ultimate goal for foster parents like Jones, adoptive mothers like Rowland and adoption advocates like Davenport, is to give these special children a home and a life that they deserve, that every child deserves.