A place to call home: 'Unfortunately kids are growing up in foster care'

A place to call home: 'Unfortunately kids are growing up in foster care'
Jimmy and Krista

Watch KVAL News at 5 and KVAL.com on Thursday, February 28, for more on this story

EUGENE, Ore. - Meet Jimmy and Krista, siblings who love to be outside and listen to music.

But what these kids want most is a place to call home.

There are thousands of children in the United States looking for loving homes. According to ChildrensRights.org, on average kids are in the foster care system for 2 years. Ten percent five or more years in the system.

Jimmy is 12 and Krista is 9. They've been in about 13 foster homes and a handful of different schools. Right now, they live apart and only see each other about an hour per week.

"That's very common for children those ages to be in that many foster homes or more," said Linzy Munger, assistant director of A Family for Every Child.

A Family for Every Child helps place foster children into permanent homes.
 
"Foster care was meant to be a short-term solution," Munger said, "and unfortunately kids are growing up in foster care, and no child deserves to be raised by the system."

Moving so often has downsides that weigh on young minds.

"Packing. I don't like packing then unpacking," Krista said.

Kids like Krista and Jimmy become statistics, growing up in the system waiting and hoping a forever family is out there.

"These kids are coming from tough situations, they've moved 12 times, they're 12 years of life," Munger said. "They often times have a hard time understanding that someone really loves them, that this person is going to stay in my life until I get married, until I have children of my own."

Jimmy and Krista's personalities still shine, despite the storms they've endured at such a fragile time in their young lives.

"I like that he can be silly sometimes, and he dresses up like a nerd," Krista said of her big brother.

"Sometimes she can be fun," he said of his sister, "and sometimes she can be really annoying."

Munger said the adoption journey can be a difficult process but also one with many misconceptions.

"There are great families out there, and the money is the barrier," Munger said. "You don't have to be wealthy to be a great family, so we want to make sure we are that person that breaks down those barriers and bringing these families and children together."