Marissa Deserves the Christmas Gift of a New Home

(Dec. 10) -- We test the spirit of Christmas giving with this Wednesday's Child; a lovely 8-yr-old girl who would return much love to the right adoptive family.  No one is more deserving, no one more ready for the fulfillment of childhood than Marissa.

Marissa is a sprite on wheels. When we met up with her a few weeks ago at the park, she first wanted to show us how good a skater she was; then how good she was at handstands, and cartwheels.

Fact is -- Marissa's good at almost everything she puts her attention to. But she can't adopt herself into a home. She needs someone to make a commitment.

"She just had a failed adoption,, and it was really painful, 'cause it was slow in the making, but it seemed so perfect, in so many ways, and then at the last minute, she was actually in the home, and waiting for the adoption to go through, and then it fell through at the last minute," says her CASA Volunteer Case Worker, Heather.

That recent failed adoption left Marissa with painful memories.

"Because, I don't like to keep on moving everywhere from each family makes me cry every time I move, and I can't stand moving now," says Marissa.

But, ever the optimist, Marissa dusted herself off, and luckily her previous foster mother took her back.

"She knows it's not permanent andshe wasn't expecting to go back there If the foster mom she's with now had not taken her after the failed adoption, she'd be at Child Haven for the 4th time,"  Heather said.

Marissa is good at school, loves drawing dolphins and whales, is very social, and considering all she's been through in her 8 years, she's very well adjusted. All that's missing is the right family.

"What we'd like to see for Marissa is to have her placed in a home where she's the youngest, uh, if there are siblings, they're much older, and therefore, she can get all that love and attention she needs, because when she gets it, she thrives on it, I mean she just does really really well," says her CASA Case Work.

Marissa qualifies as a "special needs" adoption only because she's not an infant. We think you'll agree she's not so much special-needs as just special.

If you'd like to give Marissa the ultimate Christmas gift -- a loving home -- you can get started by calling the Adoption Exchange here in the valley at 436-6335.

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