A local news channel in Utah has long been using a timeslot on Wednesdays to feature children in foster care who are hoping to be adopted. KSL News calls the segments “Wednesday’s Child.”
In June of 2017, they aired a particularly heartbreaking story of two siblings looking to be adopted together but fearing they would never find a family.
Ray and Nichole
Ray is 12 years old and his sister Nichole is 14.
The news caught up with the pair as they headed to a ballpark for some batting practice. That’s not normally Nichole’s cup of tea, but she’ll do anything for her little brother who loves sports.
And Ray adores Nichole.
“When I’m bored, I can go in her room whenever and just talk to her about things and she makes me feel better,” he said of his big sister.
The trauma of being put into foster care clearly still lingers for both of them.
“When the people came, I thought we were just like going to an event. I thought we were just going to be there for like a couple days. And then I realized we were in foster care,” Ray explained.
The pair switched houses “over and over again.”
Ray seems to have resigned himself to the situation. But Nichole has a hard time talking about being in foster care. The mere mention of it brings out her nervous habits.
3 years of uncertainty
The siblings had been in foster care for 3 years when their story first aired. That was enough time to convince them to give up on ever finding a family.
“I feel like I knew it would be a long time. I honestly don’t think we’re gonna find a home,” said Nichole.
When asked why that is, Nichole couldn’t quite say – it was a gut feeling.
“I just feel like it’s not in the cards for us.”
It’s a devastating thing to hear from someone who is only 14.
All or nothing
Nichole and Ray insisted they wanted to stay together. But, unfortunately, that’s not up to them.
In fact, they had been separated before. Ray said the time was “torture because I had no one to talk to.”
It’s enough to break anyone’s heart.
When asked what the ideal situation would be, Ray’s response indicated that it had been a long time since he felt cared for.
“We need someone who’s, like, caring and loving. People just don’t know that there are kids like me and Nichole out there that don’t have a family.”
One year later
Ray and Nichole’s story touched the hearts of thousands of viewers. And people were overjoyed to hear an update from the pair in November of 2018.
The Utah adoption agency they were assigned to had found a creative way of helping people see children who needed a home, particularly those old enough to be overlooked.
The Utah Adoption Exchange’s “Utah Heart Gallery” program showcased 31 portraits of children available for adoption. The portraits then traveled around the state in the hopes that someone would see a child and realize that they could give them the perfect home.
Ray and Nichole were featured in the exhibit.
“These kids have been through hard times, but they deserve a family just like everyone else,” said Kathy Searle, director of programs for Utah Adoption Exchange.
Searle said the portraits allowed people to see the children as “more than just a number.”
By the time the news segment on the exhibit aired, Ray and Nichole had recently found a home together.
And Ray shared some words of encouragement for other children going through what he and his sister did.
“Keep hope, because everything happens for a reason,” he said.
Be sure to scroll down below to see the 2017 interview with the kids.
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