We continue our partnership with the Arkansas Department of Human Services, profiling some of the hundreds of kids up for adoption. And this week, we introduce you to 11-year old James, 9-year old Melissa, and 7-year old Maria.
We met the children during opening weekend at the newly-renovated Museum of Discovery.
It was the time of their young lives. After all, they have suffered indescribable pain.
"My dad's in jail," describes 9-year old Melissa. "Our mom didn't have a house, and she wasn't able to feed us."
Melissa is a 4th grader who loves to paint, color and do puzzles. But instead, she worries more about finding a family who will care for her and her siblings. She recalls the last time she saw her mother, when parental rights were terminated.
"We already had our last visit, and they will not let us have phone calls," she says.
The youngest, 7-year old Maria, loves Barbies. She is also afraid of the dark. Yet she turned brave at the museum, laying on a real-life bed of nails. Turns out it was nothing for a girl who's young life has been beyond tough
James is 11-years old, the oldest. He loves football and art, but has spent much of his childhood parenting his sisters.
Adoption specialist Amanda Clark says they deserve a forever home.
"Life's just been hard for them," says Clark. "James is very much the caretaker of his younger sisters. He was the one, when they did get food, fed them."
"Every time we go to school and stuff, we see kids with moms and dads," says James. "And it just doesn't make us feel good."
But this one day at the Museum of Discover did make them feel good, a very special day for three precious children who are praying and hoping to find their place to call home.
"They're good, smart kids," says Clark. "Good, smart kids who you'll want to take home with you the minute you meet them."
Special thanks to the newly re-opened Museum of Discovery for hosting the children and gifting them with treats from the museum shop.
Click on the Arkansas Department of Human Services adoption website for more information on James, Melissa, and Maria. There are no costs associated with adopting a child in state care.