And a New Father to a Fourteen-Year Old Who Thought He Wouldn’t Have One
PHOENIX (Wednesday, November 30, 2016) - On National Adoption Day, fourteen-year-old Troy Stallings joined the Buhn family forever. Troy was in the foster system for twelve years and believed that he would simply stay there until he turned eighteen. On November 19, 2016, there was a happy ending to his lonely journey and a new beginning with a bright future and forever family.
Six months ago, Rick Buhn made the decision to expand his family by opening up his heart and home. He had already adopted one child and knew that he could provide a forever family for another disadvantaged child. Rick found Troy on the Arizona Department of Child Safety’s Heart Gallery website, a site that features children in need of an adoptive family. According to both Rick and Troy, when they met, they just “knew” they were meant to be together. According to Troy, “The first time I came in to meet him, I felt like I already knew my dad.”
Rick’s kind mannerisms, his fatherly reminder to Troy about “college first,” and his arm around his new son’s shoulders all displayed the characteristics of what we call an Everyday Hero – a person who sees a need, and without looking around to see what anyone else is doing, steps forward to meet it. In addition to adopting Troy and his nephew, Rick is also fostering another child. Rick Buhn is an everyday hero. And he is a father – a new father to a fourteen-year old boy who quit believing that he would have one.
There are many more children in Arizona who need an everyday hero and a forever family. The Children’s Heart Gallery features Arizona’s children who are available for adoption. It is each child’s dream and prayer that someone would see their picture, read their story, and invite them to join their family. The children whose stories are told on the Heart Gallery website entered the foster system through no fault of their own. They came into care as a result of neglect, abandonment, or abuse. The court has determined that these children will not be able to safely return home. They need the loving, forever family that every child deserves, and as soon as possible.
2017 Agency Focus on Finding Permanent Homes
In addition to highlighting the children in need of a forever family on the Children’s Heart Gallery, the Arizona Department of Child Safety (DCS) has identified achieving permanency for the children in foster care as a 2017 strategic objective. The agency is committed to creating a faster and more efficient process to help place children in safe, loving homes where they can grow and thrive. DCS staff understands how important it is for the children in our care to be like every other happy, healthy child in Arizona, with all of the opportunities and bright futures afforded to children who have a nurturing environment to grow up in. The agency is committed to every child having a forever family because every child deserves nothing less.