Tulsa Mom Thankful For New Child

Wednesday, November 26th 2008, 4:29 pm
By: News On 6

By Nicole Wiseman and Chris Howell, NewsOn6.com

TULSA, OK -- One Tulsa woman has a lot to be thankful for. She's a proud, new mom to a 13-year-old girl.

"I've been a mom for a whole week. She came fully grown," said Barbara Keil of Tulsa.

"I got adopted," said Shawna Keil.

Barbara and Shawna have been together for about six months. The adoption was finalized a week ago in Texas.

Before meeting her new mom, the 13-year-old had been in so many foster homes that she lost count.

"I don't have to keep moving everywhere," said Shawna.

Steve Palmer is an adoption Specialist with The Adoption Center of Northeastern Oklahoma. He helped the family of two find each other.

Steve says their goal at The Adoption Center is to find loving families for the kids who are waiting in foster homes, just like Shawna was.

"Kids deserve to be in families and so everybody should be concerned about that," said Steve Palmer, Adoption Specialist.

Up to 500,000 children nationwide are in foster care. Some will go back home to their birth family, but almost 150,000 will not be able to go home.

Palmer says when a child turns 18, they're no longer adoptable. When children aren't adopted, he says their chances of having problems later in life increase.

"They're at high risk for pregnancy, for drug abuse, for getting into trouble with the criminal system. Our prison systems are full of children that were in foster care - they did not get a home," said Palmer.

Shawna won't become a statistic. She and her mom are becoming the best of friends.

"She's awesome," said Shawna. "She likes video games and will actually sit down and watch the Disney Channel."

To Barbara, being with Shawna and giving her the attention she has never gotten, but always deserved, is time well spent.

"She's my blessing from God," said Barbara.

See children who are waiting to be adopted by visiting Adopt Us Kids.