In two weeks, Amarea will officially become a teenager. Her most cherished gift would be the promise of a family that would nurture her through adolescence and beyond, and enjoy the new dimension this adventurous, fun-loving young woman would bring to their lives.
In many ways, Amarea will be a typical 13-year-old girl. An exciting day would include having her hair styled, getting her nails painted a striking bright color and wearing a fashionable new outfit. She would love a birthday dinner with the chance to taste new foods representing different cultures, perhaps with gospel music playing in the background.
A love for dancing defines her, particularly African-American dance, and her dream day would be an afternoon of dance lessons, learning new moves, followed by a funny movie and a visit to her two younger brothers who live in foster care as she does.
It is not surprising that this fun-loving, sociable teenager wants to try her hand at cheerleading. But the career she aims for has nothing to do with fun and fashion: Amarea, who prefers to be called “Riyah,” wants to be an an anthropologist. Having just completed seventh grade, math is her favorite subject.
“Riyah would like a two-parent traditional family or a single mom,” says Kim Sabanayagam, her child specific recruiter at Delaware’s Children and Families First. “Riyah is looking to belong to a family and often talks about commitment which she desperately wants. Ideally, the family would be adventurous, active and affectionate and would encourage her to maintain her important relationship to her brothers. A pet would be welcome.”
You may remember that adolescence is a challenging time when nascent teenagers are beginning to explore themselves and the world around them, when they need guidance and love to steer them through a maze of new feelings and sometimes unsettling questions. It is a time when parents can make a lasting imprint on their children’s futures. Amarea needs that parent or parents right now.