ROANOKE, Va. – There are more than 700 children available for adoption in Virginia. They are ready to find a lasting and loving family forever. In 30 Days of Hope, 10 News portrays a child who needs a home between the hours of 6am and 5pm every day. The children are of all ages and races and were placed in foster families through no fault of their own. 2022 is the sixth year that 10 News is doing this series.
“I like reading and I like figure skating. I like cheerleading. I like to do my makeup,” said Axle, who also enjoys changing his hair. “I really like playing with my hair. I like to change it up every day and color it all the time. I have a new hair color every month. I just do whatever I can because I edit it a lot.
His favorite subject is English.
“I’m pretty good at it. I’ve always been into AP English,” said the 14-year-old. “I just read any book that strikes me as interesting. I don’t really read the back. I just look at the front and when.” I like it, I just read it.”
His favorite book is The lovely bones. After school, there are several days a week for cheer-on training.
“I’m really good at figure skating. I’m good at acrobatics. I believe that’s what it’s called. I’m pretty flexible. So I like to dance and stuff,” said Axle, who said he might want to be a professional dancer or something like that.
“Axle is amazing. I’ve known Axle pretty well since the day he was placed in foster care. Very funny. Even if he doesn’t like to show it or admit it. He has his great comedic timing. He’s great at athletics now. And when he tries hard, he’s very smart in school and actually in life,” said Cory Simmons, who works for the Franklin County Department of Social Services. “I think a great family for Axle would be one that is LGBT friendly, that is very open, accepting and patient. Especially with the older children, we know that it is difficult to find a home or a permanent home for our foster children.”
Axle agrees: “I think I would like to have a family that is very accepting of me. Because I’ve had a lot of families who like to question everything I do.”
For him, belonging means: “You simply fit in. Like you don’t really have to make an effort, you’re just there and nobody questions it.”
He would hit me every time we played Connect 4. If he could choose a vacation spot it would be the beach because he loves collecting seashells. The teenager enjoys being outside and hiking.
“I think my perfect day would be going to the gym and doing things like tumbling and stuff. Then go ice skating and then go home and go to sleep.”
If Axle could say anything about children in foster care: “I feel like a lot of them [people] think we’re bad kids, especially the older ones, because people think ‘why are you a teenager and you don’t have a house, you had to do something bad’. But most of the time it’s not like that. We just don’t have a place to go.”
Simmons said more foster homes are needed, particularly those taking in children as young as 12.
“Every child deserves a second chance, and sometimes a third chance or a fourth chance, especially with the complex history of trauma that these children usually always have,” Simmons said. “He has an amazing ability to care and love someone, despite everything they’ve been through and are going through.”
Simmons said Axle is shy at first but then opens up when he’s comfortable.
If you have any questions about Axle or foster care/adoption, contact the Adoption Coordinator at the VDSS Department of Family Services at [email protected].
To see more 30 Days of Hope stories, join us here.
We also have a list of frequently asked questions about fostering and adoption, including the qualifications, costs and training required in this link.
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