“Finding a home where I could be adopted.” That's the hope of 14-year old Leeanne.
Through no fault of her own, Leeanne finds herself in the Iowa Foster care system, waiting to be adopted.
At any given time, there are more than 6-thousand children in the Iowa foster care system. Most of those kids will return home to their biological families. That's always the goal of the Iowa Department of Human Services.
But, for some, returning home just isn't possible. They are Iowa's 'Waiting' children. Children who are waiting and hoping to someday be legally adopted by a forever family.
Such is the situation for Leeanne. She is an 8th grader right now in the North Tama Community School District in Traer, where she lives with her foster family.
It's her first school year at North Tama, where Leeanne says she really enjoys the North Tama school, and promises to do better in school.
But, right now, Leeanne has a more pressing and immediate concern.
“Finding a home where I could be adopted,” she says.
Leeanne says she enjoys her foster family, but, always wonders how long she'll be there.
Being adopted, she says, is her hope. Leeanne says, “A forever home to me would make me feel complete, and, make me feel like I belong to someone and not have to worry about every day, just the possibility of where I might end up.”
Brianne Arends is Leeanne's adoption specialist at the Iowa Department of Human Services. Brianne can be reached at: 319-892-6829 if you would like more information on adopting Leeanne. View the video story on You Tube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jjfSA6l9jR4
Brianne decribes Leeanne this way: “Leeanne is a very sweet girl. She is caring. She has an infectious laugh. She cares a lot about other people. She has a good sense of humor”
DHS is working with the Four Oaks Family Connections team, based in Cedar Rapids. https://iowafosterandadoption.org/
In many ways, Leeanne is fortunate, in that, she has only had to live with one foster family. Many Iowa foster children have moved multiple times, living in several different foster homes in their young lives
Brianne says, “The type of family that would best fit Leeanne would be a family that understands the impact that trauma has on children. A family that is patient. I think Leeanne is resilient and Leeanne has the ability to overcome the trauma she has experienced in the right home and with the right services in place. She is learning to advocate more for herself.”
For more information on adopting Leeanne, or any of Iowa's 'Waiting" children, please contact Brianne Arends of DHS at: 319-892-6829.
There is always a great need for foster and adoptive parents in Iowa. There are several ways to reach Four Oaks Family Connections:
The Family Connections phone number is: 844-380-2534
The Four Oaks Main number is: 319-364-0259
Another great resource in Eastern Iowa for adoption and foster care support is an organization known as Cedar Valley Angels. Contact Derek Kimball at Cedar Valley Angels. https://www.cedarvalleyangels.org/