Adoption a Challenge for Aging Foster Children

He opened them with delicate precision, savoring the notion that someone cared enough to buy and wrap Christmas gifts for him.

In the first box were two Hollister-brand shirts. Collared, just as he prefers. In the other was a thick, spiral notebook with fresh white pages awaiting his most inner thoughts.

“There was a time when I thought no one cared. I felt like I was all alone in this world,” says Justin, a 16-year-old whose last name can’t be revealed because he is one of 3,700 Mississippi children in foster care. “But she …”

He points to Brittney Johns, an adoption recruiter with Mississippi Families for Kids.

“… last Christmas, she bought that stuff with her own money, on her own time,” Justin says quietly. “It was almost shocking. I had mentioned those things during random conversations that had nothing to do with gifts or Christmas. But the thing is, she listened. And that’s a gift in itself. I don’t care who you are, it matters when you know there are people who care about you, who want good things for you.”

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