by: Kristen Guilfoos
Amarillo, Texas - Hundred of children in our area are in need of families... Many of those kids have been waiting for years, being shipped from one foster home to another.
November is National Adoption Month... It's been that way since 1999, when Congress declared it in hopes of raising awareness.
Last year, there were 6,300 children awaiting adoption in Texas alone.
Lori and Loyd Hall went from a family of two to a family of eight in just a few years.
So I asked them, "Did you ever think that you would end up adopting six children?" Their answer... "No way!"
But now that they have, they can't imagine it any other way. Lori says, "They showed us their pictures and it was love at first sight."
All six of their adopted children were CPS cases who came from troubled homes.
Holly Campidilli works with Catholic Family Services. She says, "Unfortunately, abuse is a problem that's not going away."
Not only is abuse not going away, but it's getting worse... In 2005, there were 330,000 reports of neglect in Texas, in 2007, there were 335,000 and in 2008, that number jumped to 351,000.
Campidilli says, "These children are all ages, from babies to 17 years old. Boys and girls, all races, all socioeconomic backgrounds."
Lori says, "We knew they needed homes and there just aren't enough to go around."
As the number of children in need of a home goes up, the number of families in our area willing or able to take them in is going down. In Potter and Randall counties, there were 63 homes open in 2006, 57 in 2007 and 49 in 2008.
Lori says, "If anyone brings up the subject, we talk it up everywhere we can. We tell them to contact an agency and get started."
The Halls have seen first hand the difference they've made in these kids lives... And the difference the kids have made in theirs. "When they come up and say 'Mommy I love you', there's just nothing like it."
Catholic Family Services says they are dealing with the shrinking number of foster/adoptive homes in our area by expanding their search... They're now looking across the entire state, and in some cases across state lines to find children homes.
There are currently about 75 kids in Potter and Randall counties who need a permanent home.