Gift Of Love: Crystal and Jeremy

The story of two special children in need of a special home.

Six year old Crystal likes playing on the computer, caring for her dolls and going to church. "She's very sweet, very loving and an eager-to-please child," says foster mom Pam Ferrell

Her four year old brother, Jeremy, likes to play with cars and trucks. He enjoys "sing along movies" like Barney and Elmo. Pam says, "He never goes around without a smile on his face. He's always happy and has a great imagination. He can take any kind of toy play and have ball."

Like typical children, they both love to play but, overall, their young lives have been anything but typical. They were removed from their home two and a half years ago because of chronic neglect. "The home was unsanitary and there wasn't adequate food for the children. Also, the kids weren't being sent to school. They weren't being sent to the doctor to get normal medical needs like immunizations. The children had lice and scabies. There wasn't any hygiene routine in the home. It was just a real sad case of neglect," explains Cheyanne Fuller, caseworker with Child Protective Services.

As a result, these children are afraid to talk. "His problem is not that he can't, he just needs to be encouraged to bring it on out. He's finally beginning to do that because he's now got security and a safe place to stay. He needs that to continue to further his verbal skills."

That security has already worked wonders with Crystal. "We were told she did not speak and it wasn't long before she was a chatter box. She's a little county chatter box cause she has a little country accent that's adorable," says Pam with a chuckle.

Both children have made great progress since being in a stable foster care environment, but they will require extra attention with special education. They will need to continue therapy to help with developmental delays.

They would do best as the youngest or only children in a home. Parents will need to be patience, offering lots of encouragement. For Crystal and Jeremy, staying together is key in maintaining a sibling bond. Cheyanne says, "Crystal likes to see that her brother's OK. They play together very well. Jeremy will seek her out. He will follow her around."

And hopefully, follow her to their forever family. "They need someone who's willing to give them the attention, time and the love and I think they'll do great," says Pam.

If you'd like to know more about Crystal and Jeremy, or want information on fostering or adopting, call our Gift of Love hotline. The toll free number is 1-888-kids-275.

Gillian Sheridan, reporting.