November 20, 2020, Colorado Springs, CO: November is National Adoption Month and a time to recognize and celebrate the families who have grown through adoption. It also helps raise awareness of the tens of thousands of children still in foster care in the United States. Each day in Colorado, approximately 12 children and teens enter fostercare because their parents need time to learn new skills and address safety concerns.
At Special Kids Special Families we have seen several families grow this year. One amazing story involves three young boys who’ve spent most of their lives in foster care. The oldest boy entered the system in 2009 due to substance abuse by his biological mother. He was soon joined by two siblings. In 2012, the boys were put in the care of a Special Kids Special Families foster mother. During that time the woman’s daughter, Qiana Garner, often took the children to appointments and engaged in fun activities with them, forming a special bond. The boys were briefly placed in the home of a relative in 2017, only to return to an SKSF family within months. Ms. Garner had maintained her relationship with the boys and in June of 2018 they were placed into her care full time. On October 15, 2020 Qiana Garner was able to adopt the three boys; Vern, 12, Verndal, 10 and Tristan, 8. “We were watching on the virtual Zoom and crying through the adoption” said SKSF Child Placement Agency Program Director Sandra Dunlap.
Qiana Garner is a full-time student and works a full-time job to support herself and the boys. She’s on track to graduate in 2023 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology. She and her mother have been a constant support for these boys even while they were placed in other homes, communicating through Skype visits and phone calls.
Special Kids Special Families is a nonprofit umbrella organization with several unique programs designed to support people with disabilities of all ages from early childhood through adult as well as their families and caregivers including:
- Child & Family Services which encompasses Zach’s Place child/respite care center;
- Adult Services offering day programs and Host Home opportunities for adults;
- Child Placement Agency for foster and adoption placement for children with disabilities and special needs;
- Behavioral Health Services offering mental health counseling and specialized therapy for individuals ages 4 through adult.
For more information about Special Kids Special Families programs call (719) 447-8983 or visit www.SKSFcolorado.org.