• Two and a half years ago, after many, many problems, Larry's adoptive family asked that he be removed. At the time he was thirteen. He had many problems in school and had many problems with his anger at home. Larry has been in a specialized foster home for some time now and he is doing better. He still has struggles but is learning healthier ways of relating to people. He is also doing very well in school. Larry's life has been filled with loss and severe early childhood abuse; this is the reason he was taken from his birth family and placed for adoption.

For Christmas this year, Larry is requesting: roller blades - size 12, game cube games and T-shirts size XXL.

• Maggie's mother had been deeply involved in the use of illegal drugs; her mother was frequently in jail and consistently refused to get treatment. Maggie and her siblings lived in a fifth-wheel with a leaking roof and no toilet facilities. The children were frequently left to care for themselves. Begging food from the neighbors was one of the things that brought Maggie to the attention of authorities. All of the children were taken into foster care. For over two years the mother refused to work with this department, she frequently missed visitation with her children and continued to use drugs. The children have remained safe but continue to miss their mother. Maggie, now 14, especially misses her; she is with a foster mother who loves her and takes good care of her.

For Christmas this year Maggie is asking for a piano keyboard, a watch, clothing (pants sizes 7, blouse, women size 5, T-shirts, medium. Shoes size 8-1/2.) She would also like to have a horse, but since Santa deals mainly in reindeer, she knows that is not likely.

• Seven months ago, neighbors reported hearing Lilly being yelled at and possibly hit. Her mother was currently living with a man whom neighbors believed was dealing in drugs. Frequently the family was away from the home, and five-year-old Lilly was often not in school. She was found after considerable hunting by the worker assigned, and Lilly was taken into care because her mother was not being protective of her. Lilly was frequently abused by those who were supposed to care for her. Since being in care with a loving family, Lilly has talked more about what happened to her in her own home. She is fearful of being taken from her foster parents and often asks for reassurance that she can stay with them.

Lilly is an average-sized five-year-old who wants a pull wagon, a baby doll, some beginning reader books, "nice" videos to watch, and lots of hats.

• "JD" has lived away from his biological family most of his 13 years. This boy had not only a troubled home filled with emotional and physical abuse toward him, he has been diagnosed as autistic. For many years now "JD" has lived in a stable home provided by his current foster family. There have been many challenges to the foster family but they have continued to love and work with him. "JD" is doing better in school and better at home but his behaviors are still a challenge. He wants to do better and often expresses his love for his foster parents. With therapy and the continued support of his foster family he will not only maintain the gains he has made in their home, he will continue to improve in his emotional development.

"JD" is very excited about Christmas and has asked for: Game cube, bicycle, a sleeping bag, Yu-Gu-Oh cards, clothing: pants 14R, jacket/coat 14, shoes sized 7 and rubber boots size 7.

• Craig and his siblings lived only briefly with their mother. She was often in jail and spent periods of time in prison as well. Often relatives stepped in to help out the children, but none of them could care for all of the children. Mother would often try to involve herself again in the children's lives but in a way the relatives felt was destructive and upsetting to the children. Craig, now 14, has lived in many homes both within the family and in foster care. He is in therapy, doing better in school, loves sports, especially football and baseball.

Craig is asking for a CD player, Playstation II, a hooded sweatshirt (M), coat or jacket-(M), videos-action or comedy. Craig also needs jeans (wide leg, baggy) 32X30, shirts (M) and shoes 9-1/2.

• When she and her siblings were very young, Angie's parents were killed in an accident. The children were in several homes following the accident, some of the children have been adopted and Angie does not have consistent contact with them. Angie is having many struggles - in school and in her current home. Angie is now 17. She has never been in trouble or used drugs but has struggled with keeping up in school because of the many changes in school.

This year she is asking for: pretty sheets for her double-sized bed, a pretty lamp, a CD player and CD's, a flashlight, nail polish, and hair products - spray, shampoo, mousse, etc.

NOTE: In this article provided by the Long Beach office of DSHS Division of Children and Family Services, all names have been changed to protect the privacy of the children listed.

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