Giving a Child a Chance - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

05/20/02-Possum Trot

Giving a Child a Chance

Robbie Garrett sits on her couch, flipping through pages of a photo album. She pauses and says, "This is Denise on her bicycle learning how to ride." When Robbie found out she couldn't have children, she decided to adopt. She's now the proud parent of two young girls. In 1990, she gave Denise and Aishia a permanent home. "I love my girls. I wouldn't trade them for the world," says Robbie with a big smile. Although when she first got the girls, Robbie says there were times her patience was tested. "I was just praying to God that I could make it through another day." Most of the problems came from Denise. As a five year old, she was dropped off at a day care; her mother never came back. When Robbie took her in, Denise wasn't used to regular meals. "She would eat and eat and eat until her stomach was just hard and she couldn't lay down and she couldn't sit up. I would tell her, 'You can't eat like that, there will always be food here for you,'" explains Robbie. Denise's idea of survival also included lying, throwing tantrums and tearing up the house. Robbie says, "She was trying to see how long would I keep her and if I would send her back. But I would tell her every time she would do this,'I'm not sending you back. I still love you and you're not going anywhere.'" That love, gave both of these girls the nurturing they were missing in their young lives. Robbie says proudly, "I look in their faces and see the joy and the happiness they have and I see that they are stable, and this is home and know one can take that away." Many of the children who came to Possum Trot had weathered a stormy past. Many not only found a rainbow here, but a pot of gold to go with it. "I feel happy to have a mom and dad who cares about me," says nine year old LaToya. She found a forever family with Dorothy and Ricky Cartwright. They not only adopted LaToya, but 15 month old Malaysia. "She's a real good sister and we always have great times together," says LaToya grinning from ear to ear. Despite the challenges of bringing unwanted children into their home, the Cartwrights quickly bonded as a family. "It takes a lot of time, but we enjoy it," says Dorothy. Ricky adds, "It's just something that God gave us to give back to the kids that lack. We are fulfilling the promise of taking care of the kids." Jody and Valencia Price are also fulfilling the promise, two fold. They adopted twins. "Oh, I love 'em," says Jody. Valencia quickly chimes in saying, "They are the joy of my life." The twins needed special care when they came to the Price's home. Both were on heart monitors. It didn't take long before they were healthy, happy, little children. "It makes me happy to see them happy, says Jody. The Prices know they are making a difference, helping these siblings grow up feeling loved. It's something every child deserves. "There are so many kids out there that don't have a permanent home, a stable home and I just don't like to see kids who don't know what's going to happen the next day. Some don't know if they're going to have to take the few things they have and move somewhere else," Valencia explains sadly. For the children who have moved to this tiny East Texas town, this is their last stop. It's also the beginning of a better life, and a brighter future. The social workers who have helped these families say it's pretty amazing; nothing short of a miracle! "These families are really, really interested in these children in developing them to the best of their potential and I really admire them and applaud them," says Ann Hobbs with Child Protective Services. East Texas tips its hat to this tiny town called Possum Trot. Where children, all with different needs, are being met w

Taking in unwanted children can be a big financial burden for these families. They can apply for adoption subsidy from the state. If they qualify, they could be eligible for about $500 a month per child, plus health care coverage. They must re-apply every two years. Reverend W.C. Martin asks anyone to adopt one of these at-risk kids who you've got to feed, cloth, take to the doctor, not to mention all the other problems, and they'll find that $500 goes pretty fast. It's basically the only help these families get from the state. Nonetheless, Reverend Martin says it's a matter of love, not money. These families could use your help also. To find out more, just go back to our home page and click on the "know more on 7' icon. There, you'll find a link on how to donate. Or, you can call Reverend Martin, the man who started it all. His number is 936-598-5509. If you are interested in becoming a foster or adoptive family call our Gift of Love hotline. The toll free number is 1-888-kids

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