Gift of Love: 8-year-old Cheyenne

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - By Jennifer Hines - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - There are still nearly a thousand East Texas children currently in foster care who need a forever family. Often times the ones hardest to place are the ones that can bring a family the most joy.

Cheyenne is a precious child who needs a very special family. She just turned eight years old and loves to sing.

"She's the greatest child around," said Ben Patty, Cheyenne's foster dad.

Cheyenne has Angelman's Syndrome. It is a genetic disorder that causes global developmental delays. For example, she may laugh inappropriately and has impulsive behavior, motor skill delays and no sense of danger or safety issues.

Her foster dad says Cheyenne does not have a mean bone in her body.

"She's obviously hyperactive," said Patty. "She's never still. She's a good child."

Cheyenne is looking for her forever family. A family that can go the extra mile.

"This child was presented with a mountain that a lot of us would not be able to handle and she seems to handle it with grace," said Lori Sutton White, an intensive adoption coordinator. "She's going to bring a lot of laughs and special moments that any family is willing to take the risk and step out in faith and love."

Cheyenne is profoundly delayed, but with patient instruction, she is showing progress in many areas. She is learning to communicate through sign language and knows some letters and colors. Cheyenne is able to repeat some words, but conversation is difficult as she often babbles or repeats words.

"She has occupational therapy, physical therapy and speech therapy, weekly," said Patty. "She has good days and bad days with that."

"She qualifies for adoption assistance benefits and that will include Medicaid for all of her medical needs - her therapies she'll need to have," said White.

In addition to help with her medical needs there is also help to cover the costs of day to day support she will need.

"We also have a monthly financial assistance that will kind of help off set the cost - the things that come with caring for a child with special needs," said White. "We want to be able to help the family as much as possible to give them the support they need to care for her."

Cheyenne needs constant supervision as she does not have the ability to recognize social cues or danger.

"She loves playing with her dolls," said Patty.

She loves zoo animals, pink is her favorite color, and you can always get her to eat her favorite food - bananas!

"As they grow older they are usually living in some sort of residential facility, group home where they can learn to live independently with some supervision," explained White. "So we would encourage her adoptive family to apply for those benefits."

Cheyenne needs an experienced family capable of providing the constant supervision that she needs while advocating for her care across all areas and most importantly show her the gift of love.

If you would like to know more about Cheyenne call our Gift of Love hotline, toll-free, 1-888-kids-275.

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