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    17-year old concerned she will "age out" of foster care system, never having found a family

    6:31 AM, Nov 17, 2011   |    comments
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    • 17-year old Shannon, in the THV studios
    • Chief Meteorologist Ed Buckner with Shannon
    • Shannon with THV's production crew
    • Shannon with THV's Craig O'Neill
    • THV's Dawn Scott with Shannon
    • Shannon with THV's Liz Massey
    • Joey the Garden Cat

    Shannon is a high school junior. But instead of being worried about football games and homework, her biggest concern is finding a permanent home.

    Shannon hopes someone will hear her story and bring her home.

    "She is so sweet and shy," says adoption specialist Monica Spencer. "And she has the prettiest smile."

    Shannon has an interest in computers and technology, so this week, we arranged a tour of the THV studios.  It is a much different experience from what she's used to at her group foster home.

    "It's like residential treatment," says Shannon. "And all the girls, 13 girls, they come in with different behaviors."

    Shannon's behavior is admittedly not the best. She says she has a tendency to argue and get mad. And she's learned first-hand the consequences.

    "It's like my behavior moves me from place to place," she says.

    That behavior, Spencer says, is common for a girl who's been shuffled through state foster care since she was a toddler.

    "Feeling unwanted," says Spencer. "She has mentioned that in the past, she has been in several placements and that caused a lot of insecurity within her, and she's dealing with that now."

    Shannon has been in foster care since the age of 5.  Adoption officials say she has no special needs.  She just needs love and patience to help her deal with her anger.

    "They do not quite understand why they're in the situation they're in," says Spencer.  "And it's their way of dealing with these issues. It's their coping mechanism to get through each day."

    "I want to be adopted," says Shannon. "If I had a family, we could do family things together."

    "It is very heartbreaking," says Spencer. "So that's why I'm crying out to our community, that they come forward and be a support to our children in foster care whose goal is adoption."

    If you'd like more information on Shannon or any of the children in state foster care, up for adoption, click on the Arkansas Department of Human Services adoption website.

    There are no costs associated with adopting a child in state care.

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