GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – We continue our Forever Home series with an introduction to Angie, 16, a driven high school junior. She stands up for teens like her in Michigan foster care who need loving families to call home.
“When I get older and retire, I want to do a foster home for our teenagers so they feel like they have somewhere to come throughout their lives,” said Angie.
Angie turns 17-years-old next week. In Michigan that means she only has one more year to be adopted, otherwise she will age out of the foster care system. Then she can apply for services through the state until she’s 21, but she’s on her own.
Angie is incredibly smart. She is grounded through the choices she has had to make over the past nearly four years, despite moving between foster and group homes.
Angie is a born leader who is dedicated to making a positive change in the world, and she only has a year left to find an adoptive family to help guide her.
FOX 17 spent Tuesday afternoon painting with Angie at Naked Plates Studios, and you can quickly tell she is an artist.
“Art, it makes me feel happier than I’ve ever been, it’s like almost like having a family there,” said Angie.
Always with a journal in her hand, Angie is incredibly smart: a writer and a poet who has aspirations to help children in foster care be successful.
“My biggest dream is to change this world,” said Angie. “God’s done so much for us and we ignore it, or we have so many blessings we have in our life and we never see them.”
Angie is interested in politics; she is well-read and is articulate. She said she plans to go to college and become a social worker.
“Just ‘cause this person had a bad past, it doesn’t make them who they are today,” said Angie. “How are you ever going to know if that kid is a great kid if you don’t take a minute to know them?”
She is already taking the lead on sticking up for teens in her group home, who are living with tough situations.
“I just tell them that they’re beautiful and that they’re wonderful people,” said Angie.
“They’re our future citizens right, and you’re going to leave them. If you never give them love, how do they expect to learn it?
Adoptions can fall through for many reasons. Angie says she has been there.
Now she asks families to meet children where they are now, and know that their past does not define them.
“Did you know that even half the time those decisions are not their fault?” said Angie. “It’s the people around them who influenced them to make that decision.”
“I just want someone to actually stay there with me and say ‘I love you through the pain and the misery or the happy times.’ I want a family that’s willing to look past, away from my past and say, ‘that’s not her.’”
If you would like to learn more about Angie, or if you are interested in adopting her, please call her adoption agency, Orchards Children’s Services at 1 (855) 694-7301.
November is National Adoption Month. On Nov. 5 in Grand Rapids there will be an informational event for families who are considering adoption. The event is called Images of Adoption, no reservations required, and it will be held between 5 – 7 p.m. at D.A. Blodgett – St. John’s, located at 805 Leonard St. NE in Grand Rapids.
FOX 17 would like to give a special thanks to Naked Plates Studios for another special filming session!