Fun at the Little Rock Zoo!
Xena and Ashton
13-year old Zach, 8-year old Jaden, 5-year old Xena, and 2-year old Ashton
Jaden and Xena
We continue our partnership with the Department of Human Services, profiling some of the hundreds of children in state foster care, up for adoption.
This week, we introduce you to three brothers and a sister, desperate for a place to call home.
13-year old Zach is not your typical teenager, not a typical 7th grader, and not at all typical in the way he handles his siblings, 8-year old Jaden, 5-year old Xena, and 2-year old Ashton.
Spend a few hours with Zach, even at the Little Rock Zoo, and it's easy to see he is more like a protective parent, a caregiver to his broken family.
Zach and his siblings live in separate foster homes, but were reunited recently for a trip to the zoo.
"The older ones," says adoption specialist Suzanne Stephens, "have told me repeatedly 'please find us a home so we can be with our siblings,' and that breaks your heart because usually kids don't say those kinds of things to you."
Zach describes losing his family as "depressing."
Jaden says he's "been to three foster homes and three shelters." Jaden suffered heartbreak yet again when one of his foster moms promised she'd adopt them all, but didn't.
The younger two are still too little to fully understand. Two babies, who love the animals, who themselves just want to be loved.
"They came into foster care about two years ago," says Stephens. "And I believe the issues with the parents were drug related and not being able to care for the children, basic neglect."
That's when Zach, wise beyond his years, picked up the pieces. Now, he just wants a "real nice easy going family."
"They're just beautiful children," says Stephens. "They all get along really well together, and they would probably all give up one limb to be able to be together. In fact, a single parent could handle the four of them because Zach would be able to assist with whatever's needed."
Special thanks to the Little Rock Zoo for welcoming the children. They had a blast and say they liked the tigers and elephants best.
Click on the Arkansas Department of Human Services adoption website if you'd like more information on these siblings or any of the children in state foster care. There are no costs associated with adopting a child in Arkansas.