Gift of Love: Dakota

11 year old Dakota describes himself as "a golf kid." It's the one thing in his life right now that gives him satisfaction. "It's fun. I feel like Tiger Woods when I'm out there playing," says Dakota with a big grin. Dakota takes lessons from Darrell Chase, the Golf Pro at Peach Tree Golf Course in Bullard. "You can see from his swings, he's progressing very rapidly. He's got a lot of talent," says Darrell Chase. Dakota is a shy boy, slow to warm up to new people. But when he feels comfortable, he's quite talkative, which was the case as he played a round of golf with Chase and his Placement Counselor Brad Brush. This young boy comes from a pretty chaotic background. He's experienced abuse and neglect. At times he has trouble concentrating, but golf is helping to keep him on task. Dakota explains, "You should always keep your mind on the ball and you should focus while you're trying to hit." Brad Brush says, "I think the patience that he has shown out here playing golf and learning to play golf demonstrates that this kid has a real desire to better himself." Chase adds, "He's just a good kid. Very polite, very coachable, a pleasure to work with." Dakota is also making progress in school. He attends Special Education Classes and is working hard to improve his reading. "It's up at least two full grade levels this year alone and we haven't even finished this year," Brush goes on to say, "so he's got some perseverance and some of those things that we like to see when these kids develop into adults." Dakota strives for attention and likes to please adults. He's a healthy boy, with a warm smile. But Dakota has had a hard time adjusting to Foster Care. Like any child, he wants a permanent home. "When you have a family, it's a lot of stability, and I need that in my life," says this young boy. Dakota will do best in a two parent family with lots of one-on-one attention. He should be the only child, or the youngest child in his forever family. Dakota will need experienced parents who can help him work though loss and separation issues, and can provide him with a home where he feels safe. Dakota not only wants the Gift of Love, but is willing to give it. "This is a young man that is a definite candidate for a good forever home. I think that in time we're going to see a lot of real positive growth and a lot of smiles out of this young man," says Brush. Of all the wishes Dakota would like to have granted, there is one that stands above the rest. "I want a home to go to, an always home to go to," says Dakota.

If you'd like to know more about Dakota, or about the adoption process in general, call our gift of love hotline. The toll free number is 1-888-kids-275.