Family Made Whole Through Adoption

There are 114,000 children waiting to be adopted in America.

KBTX is starting a new segment called Wednesday's Child, highlighting adoption with the goal of finding permanent, loving families for children in foster care.

Our first story is an adoption success story.

Billy and Terri Barnett already had four kids of their own when they decided to have another. This time, they set their sights on adoption.

"We just talked about it and felt called to do it," said Terri Barnett. "We felt like there was something God was telling us we were supposed to do."

They adopted a little boy named Andy. Born to a heroin addict, Andy became part of the Barnett family when he was just two.

Shortly after, the Barnetts had an unexpected surprise.

"We adopted one, and then the mother had a sibling come along later, so we decided in our heart we should take her, too," said Billy Barnett.

They brought Andy's sister, Breanna, home from the hospital when she was just 19 days old. Now ages six and three, Andy and Breanna are very much a part of this family.

"I play with them," says Andy.

"I play with them too," adds Breanna.

There are currently 52 children in the Brazos Valley like Andy and Breanna waiting to be adopted. There are more than 4,000 in Texas.

"Whatever family means to them is going to be different for each child, but the core elements is that permanent, loving and nurturing home," said Liana Lowey, Executive Director of Voices For Children.

On average, children in the foster care system can expect one move per year. That's new parents, new friends, new school and new rules.

"None of us like change. We adults don't like change, and to ask some of our kids to go through that transition in foster care can be pretty difficult," adds Lowey.

But it's the older kids that have the hardest time finding permanent homes because most adoptive parents are looking for younger children.

"Even at 17, you need a home that you can always go back to at holidays, at Christmas or school breaks. You always need a family no matter what age you are," Lowey said.

And if you think that's the end of the Barnett's story, think again. Just six months ago, they had another surprise. Terri gave birth to little Landon. If you're counting, that makes seven kids.

As Andy plays Nintendo Wii, he says "it doesn't matter if you win or lose." That's a good lesson for a video game, but in the game of life, Andy, Breanna and the Barnett family are winners.

Join us Wednesday night at 10 p.m. to meet a Brazos Valley boy looking for his forever family in Part Two of Wednesday's Child.