Hundreds of thousands of children in this country desperately need our help. They dream of someday belonging to a permanent family who will love them forever.

They are America's waiting children. They are waiting to be adopted.

In the United States today, more than half a million children are living in foster care, often moving once, twice, even three times in one year from temporary home to temporary home. 126,000 of these children are available for adoption. They are ready and waiting for a family to call their own.

In our state, there are on average between 1,800 and 2,000 children in foster care awaiting adoption. Many older children wait for their entire childhood. Children wait while systems, often overburdened and under-funded, slowly move to find solutions to family problems.

The Children's Action Network is a partner with the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption on the annual CBS television special, "A Home for the Holidays." This one-hour broadcast focuses on adoption and tells the stories of children and the remarkable people who adopt them. It also introduces us to the children who continue to wait.

America's waiting children come in all shapes and sizes, ages and races. Some are medically fragile children or children who want to be adopted with a brother or sister. They all have potential. They all want and deserve what millions of other children have - love, protection, support and a place to belong.

These terrific children need our help. To learn about waiting children in our area and about the adoption process, call Families For Kids, Washington state's foster and adoptive home recruitment agency, at (888) 794-1794 and tune in to watch "A Home for the Holidays" that will air on CBS on Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2004 at 8 p.m.PST.

On behalf of the staff and volunteers at Families for Kids, all the best wishes for the coming holiday season.

Daryl Daugs, Director

Families for Kids

(www.familiesforkids.org)

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