Friday, November 5, 2004

Older adoptions promoted

Awareness campaign this month

By John Kiesewetter
Enquirer staff writer

HAMILTON - When Deanna Henderson enrolled in adoption classes after a miscarriage, she dreamed of adopting the baby she was unable to have herself.

But after learning about the large number of teenagers needing a home, she and her husband adopted an 11-year-old boy two years ago - and then took in his two teen sisters, and their teen brother.

"If you really want to help, you should be open to (adopting) older children. I've had a lot of benefits that didn't occur to me, like the way they help me around the home, and not having to wait years to go to basketball games," said Henderson, 34, of Middletown. "And I didn't have to change diapers."

Henderson is the mother of four children: Lawrence, 13; Eugene, 16; Lori, 16, and Key-Key, 18.

The Hendersons are helping the Butler County Children Services Board promote adoption during November, National Adoption Awareness month. The agency's campaign includes a billboard and a poster proclaiming the "Top 10 Reasons To Adopt A Teenager."

"Most of the 26 kids (in Butler County) eligible for adoption are older," said Stacey Woytsek, an adoption specialist for the agency. Her phone number - (513)-887-4342 - is listed on the billboard and poster.

Those interested in adoption must attend a 10-week class in Butler County, and a caseworker conducts a home study.

Philip Henderson, 36, said "the most important thing about adoption is to share a child's love - to love a child unconditionally, regardless of their past."


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