“The Division of Children and Family Services and Project Zero are in the midst of their three month long “Everyday Counts Campaign” and they have a lofty goal they hope to achieve.
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the number of kids in foster care has only gone up in the past 18-months, and for the next few months leading up to National Adoption Month, they’re making every day count.
Kids like 12-year-old Camden are among the 349 kids in foster care in Arkansas now.
“I want to just feel safe and not go to different homes,” he said. “Just someone who’s kindhearted.”
Pregnant at 17, Tricia Goyer knew she was going to be a single mom. She prayed that God would send her a future husband who would love her and love her son.
“Actually, the day that my son, Cory was born, John came to visit. He was the pastor’s son, and was just coming to see how I was doing,” Goyer said.
Tricia and John got married, and went on to have two more kids. As the kids got older, the Goyer’s realized they were still young, and felt that their mission wasn’t over.
“We were thinking, you know what, we’re kind of young still and maybe we can have more family, we can offer more love to kids,” Goyer said. “It really was my husband and I feeling like you know, on this earth, God has given us a purpose.”
That thought lead them to adoption, first privately, then through foster care when they moved to Arkansas in 2010.
“We just really saw that there’s a lot of kids out there that need homes.”
They adopted a two and five-year-old first, and just a couple years later, four sisters between the ages of 11 and 15 at the time.
“I can’t imagine not having them in my life and, you know, I think that, God definitely put them in our lives for a reason, and everyday, I’m just thankful for them,” Goyer said.
The youngest of the four, Florentina is now 16, but she still remembers being that scared little girl in foster care, waiting.
“I’d go to school and all my friends would talk about about their families, and I didn’t have a family,” she said.
Siblings typically take more time to find a home that will take them all, and with one sister who already aged out of the system, Florentina was scared.
“A lot of foster kids end up on the streets, like doing drugs, and like, sleeping around, and all of that,” she said. “A lot of the kids in the system, like, honestly had no idea why their parents had given them up.”
She said God was looking out for them, and the Goyer family saved her and her sisters from that life.
“They made us realize that, like, they weren’t going to give up on us, they actually truly wanted us to be in their family,” she said.
The Goyer’s found Florentina and her sisters through Project Zero’s Heart Gallery. Founder of Project Zero, Christie Erwin, is a community partner with DCFS, helping with the Everyday Counts campaign.
“Looking at individual kids, individual personalities, individual situations, and helping them understand that every day that goes by with a child waiting is a day too long,” Erwin said.
The three month campaign is intended to bring attention to the need for adoptive families in Arkansas, and find forever families for the hundreds of waiting kids in foster care by National Adoption Month in November….”
View the whole story here: https://katv.com/news/local/everyday-counts-campaign-aims-to-get-349-kids-in-foster-care-adopted-by-november