Nov 8, 2011 2:22 PM by Andy Koen

Focus and DHS encourage adoption of foster children

Focus on the Family and the Colorado Department of Human Services are encouraging families to adopt children who are currently in foster care. At the Focus Welcome Center Tuesday morning, the Heart Gallery traveling photography exhibit was unveiled. It showcases many of the children in the Colorado foster system who are waiting to be adopted.

One of the people at the event was Gail Wahl, an adoptive parent. She was the court appointed special advocate for Amanda Olivero and her younger brothers. Gail says she noticed Amanda's struggles going through foster care and decided to make her a part of her family.

"When you're heart tells you you've gotta do something, then you've gotta do something, regardless of what the system is."

Gail had to cease being Amanda advocate but couldn't explain to her why until all of the paperwork was in order. Then after a family vacation this summer to Wisconsin, Amanda was formally adopted by the Wahl family, 12 days before her 18th birthday.

Amanda says it's still hard to believe because of how difficult it is for foster children her age to be adopted.

"People don't think of adopting older children, you know," Amanda said. "We want to be able to have a home, someone we can relate to, we all want that."

There are approximately 350 children and teenagers in foster care in Colorado who are looking for their forever home. Many of them are siblings who want to be adopted with their brothers or sisters.

  • Story Photo
  • Story Photo
    Gail Wahl and her daughter Amanda Olivero
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