RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Nearly 1,000 children are in the foster care system in Virginia and with National Adoption Month fully underway a local non-profit hopes to raise awareness to this opportunity.
Children’s Home Society of Virginia has a mission to find permanent adoptive homes for children of all ages across the state and provide support services.
Since it was founded, more than 13,500 children have found safe and permanent homes, but the need is constantly there.
“It could be weeks, months, years before there’s a match for you,” said Cameron Baughan, 18, of Stafford County.
However, for Roger and Cameron Baughan it was a bond that formed almost immediately..
“I was surprised by how quickly it was,” said Cameron.
Not because of some future aspirations, rather something from the past.
“So we found out early on we both have a very strong interest in history,” Roger said.
That love for history took them to museums across the area, but it was an early outing in 2017 to the American Civil War Museum that really solidified the Baughan’s relationship.
“I’m a descendant of a Confederate veteran so this is a key place for us,” Roger said. “He was amazed with the cannon.”
While history played a huge role in connecting Roger and Cameron, Children’s Home Society of Virginia also made sure the match would be a safe and permanent one.
“Cameron has had some past history, which a lot of adopted children do, but we worked through all of that to let him know he’s going to have a safe home a comfortable home and a permanent home,” Roger said.
Roger knew for some time he wanted to adopt a child, but it wasn’t until he found Children’s Home Society of Virginia that he officially started the process.
“I went through their training, filled out the home study, went through [that] and through the various meetings with Children’s Home Society and DSS,” Roger said. “I was lucky that Cameron and I got matched.”
“I had walls up, I pretty much pushed my friends away, but I’ve learned to stop doing that since then,” Cameron said.
Looking at the past two years things have changed dramatically for Cameron.
"Most definitely,” he said.
He’d been in several homes before, but always hoped for something better.
“I’ve been in some pretty tight situations and somehow always made it out,” Cameron said. “You’ve gotta look on the positive side of things.”
That positivity is what helped lead him to Roger, bonding over history.
“We watch documentaries a lot,” he said.
And even animals.
“We have a pet ferret named Steve,” Roger said.
All those connections and support has helped Cameron become the 18-year-old he is today.
“Now he’s an A/B student, he’s on the track team of his high school which is Stafford High School, we live outside of Fredericksburg,” Roger said. “I mean he’s really opened up... his social skills have really improved.”
As the pair approaches their one year anniversary of the adoption ceremony, the Baughans hope their story will encourage others to help change another child’s future.
“I never even figured there was someone who liked history as much as I did,” Cameron said.
“It was a late-life adoption for me and Cameron was 16 when I first met him," Roger said. "There are a lot of teenagers in the system who need a home, so open your home and heart to them!” Roger said.
For more information on adopting a child through Children’s Home Society, click here.
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