FOREVER FAMILIES: Dylan is a Laid-Back Teen Who Wants a Dad

— By Clint Williams, Aid to Adoption of Special Kids

Teens typically come with drama. Not 15-year-old Dylan.

“He is literally, the most chill, laid-back kid,” says Kayla, a child specific adoption recruiter with Aid to Adoption of Special Kids (AASK).

The teen is laid back, but still loves to play.

Dylan is engaging, joking and confident as he swats baseballs at the Extra Innings Indoor Batting Cages in Mesa, carefully following the coaching of instructor Brady Hansen, who threw batting practice.

Dylan loves playing baseball — just not during the sweltering summer, jokes Kayla.

“In the summer, Dylan really likes to go swimming or hanging out inside watching movies,” she says, adding that his favorite movies feature superheroes like Spider-Man and The Hulk.

During the summer, Dylan also talks about how eager he is to get back in the classroom.

“I love school,” Dylan says.

Dylan is a high school sophomore and his schedule includes classes to prepare him for independent living.

“Dylan enjoys going to his classes, he gets good grades and he has been on the honor roll,” Kayla says.

Dylan will do well in a home with two parents or one headed by a single father. He would get along well with older siblings.

“He does really well with a strong-male figure,” Kayla says, “so having that in the home is going to be important.”


For more information on Dylan and other children in foster care who are eligible for adoption, call Aid to Adoption of Special Kids (AASK) at 602.930.4900 or visit www.aask-az.org.

Alice and David Are a Dynamic Duo Wishing for a Forever Family

— By Clint Williams
Aid to Adoption of Special Kids

Eight-year-old Alice is fearless as she moves smoothly up the rock climbing wall at Sky Zone in Scottsdale and confidently slaps the buzzer.

She then carefully works her way down the wall — and then starts back up. Practice makes perfect and Alice is nothing if not willing to practice.

Cheering her on is younger brother David, 7. And when it’s his turn to tackle the wall, Alice keeps a watchful eye as the protective — and a little bit bossy — big sister.

The siblings form a dynamic duo, says Brianna, a child specific adoption recruiter with Aid to Adoption of Special Kids (AASK).

“Alice is a girly girl,” Brianna says. “She likes all things glittery and sparkly.

“David enjoys playing outside. He is very tidy, and he likes to make his bed every single morning.”

Both are active and giggly. Both do well in school and love routine. Both love macaroni and cheese. The two have never lived without each other.

“They have a very strong relationship together and it’s important that they maintain that relationship throughout their lives,” Brianna says, adding that it is also import the two stay in Arizona.

The siblings would thrive in a forever home that has two parents with an abundance of energy.

“The perfect forever family for Alice and David is one that has the time, patience and understanding to work with them,” Brianna says.

Alice and David would do well in a family with other children, but, because of allergies, they can’t live in a home with cats or dogs.


For more information on children in foster care eligible for adoption, call Aid to Adoption of Special Kids at 602.930.4900, or visit www.aask-az.org.

From Foster Care to Life with a Forever Family

— By Clint Williams
Aid to Adoption of Special Kids

This is a story with a happy ending.

Years of bouncing around in the Arizona foster care system have ended for Steven, a 10-year-old boy who gets good grades in school and loves to play basketball. He is now part of a forever family.

While it was long journey for Steven, it may have been love at first sight for his adoptive parents, Valerie Bunce-Kline and Joey Kline. The couple spotted Steven’s flyer when attending classes for foster parent licensure through Aid to Adoption of Special Kids (AASK). Their hearts were certain when they saw Steven’s video, one of more than 1,000 Wednesday’s Child videos produced by AASK since its founding in 1988. The video showed Steven playing soccer in a Phoenix park.

“Watching the video was nice because you saw he was an active child, that he had a sense of humor,” says Joey. “When you saw him out there having fun, you saw how happy he could be.”

After watching the video, says Valerie, “We knew right away Steven was the one we wanted to meet.”

Steven moved into their home in June 2018. It wasn’t always smooth sailing.

“We were just getting to know him, so we needed help adjusting to some of his behaviors,” recalls Valarie.

But the support of Steven’s team — Arizona Department of Child Safety caseworkers, trauma therapist, AASK adoption recruiter and others — was “phenomenal,” Valarie says.

Professional support, stability, security and old-fashioned love from mom and dad have contributed to a transformation.

“He is a completely different child than the child who walked into our home in June of last year,” Valarie says.

A child who was detached and aloof is loving and affectionate. A pattern of unsportsmanlike behavior on the playing field has been replaced by patience, compassion and kindness.

Developing a sense of security, knowing this was his forever family, was key for Steven, his dad says.

“Days before the adoption, that’s all he would talk about,” Joey says. “He’d say to random strangers, ‘I’m getting adopted next week.’”

Steven now lives in a house with three cats, three dogs and his own room with a giant basketball sticker on the doors.

But, the best part?

“My favorite thing about my house,” Steven says, “is my parents — they live there.”


For more information on children in foster care eligible for adoption, call Aid to Adoption of Special Kids at 602.930.4900, or visit www.aask-az.org.

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