Scarlet was in and out of the foster care system until she was 6 years old, switching back between her biological family and foster homes. Then, in 2008, her parents’ rights were terminated, making her legally available for adoption. But instead of getting settled in with a forever family, she has continued to live in foster care – in 35 different homes, to be exact – over the past 9 years.
“I always say to myself, ‘There’s going to be a home out there eventually that is going to want me, and who is going to treat me with respect, who I can actually look up to and trust,'” says Scarlet.
Trust is particularly important to Scarlet, who has been promised permanency and adoption only to have the plans fall apart. “I want people to know in the general sense – and especially for Scarlet – that these are not puppies from a shelter,” said her case manager, Tia Powell. “You can’t take them back once you get them. They’re human beings. They have feelings and heart and emotions. And you make a commitment to these kids, and you work with them, you work through all the things that go with them. And she’s a sweet kid and anybody would be lucky to have her.”
This loving, energetic girl has faced a lot of challenges in her few short years of life – and she continues to face a lot of challenge. But one thing that could make a world of difference to her is the love and stability of a forever family. Having a family, she says, would mean more to her “than any other present that someone could give me.”