SOUTHWEST LOUISIANA (KPLC) - A new family, a new school, and a new city hours away from the place she calls home have been hard on 14-year-old Miah.
This high school freshman is in foster care and had to be moved from the Lake Charles region to the Baton Rouge area, because of a shortage of foster homes open to teens.
Miah says moving around to different foster homes, different schools, all while being far from home has been difficult.
"It's not easy," she said. "It's challenging."
Miah knows adoption into a stable, loving home will change her life. She holds on to the hope that it will happen for her.
"I pray," she said.
Prayer gives this young lady strength. That is one of the qualities Miah's adoption worker, Ashlee Walker, sees shining through.
"Miah sticks up for people who are getting bullied," said Walker. "That's one of the positives that the home told me about her, is that she doesn't want anyone bullied."
Miah says she wants to help others, just as people have helped her. She hopes to work in the medical field one day.
"When I grow up, I want to be a registered nurse, because I want to help others," she said.
But to make these dreams come true, Miah needs parents who can invest in her in the long-term. The older she gets, Walker says the harder it can be to move teens into adoptive placements.
"We don't have that many foster homes that will take older children, especially teenagers," said Walker, "so we have to place them out in other parishes, other cities, due to the lack of homes that we have for teenagers."
Walker says teens like Miah still have so much to give to a family, as well as receive as girls turn into young women and boys turn into young men.
"They need that family support when they're in their 20s, 30s, to teach them how to raise their own children and things about life," said Walker. "It's very important that these teenagers find a forever home so that they can have a family after they turn 18."
When I asked Miah her checklist for the perfect family, this is all she had to say:
"I want a mom and a dad. It really doesn't matter what color they are...that's it."
Two people who can pour a lifetime of love into her life.
Miah is legally freed for adoption through the state. Before she can be moved to an adoptive placement, you must be a certified home.
To get that process started or make an inquiry about her, call the Lake Charles region Department of Children and Family Services at 337-491-2470.
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