HARRIS COUNTY, Texas - 3-year-old Cameron loves trucks & transformers and is full of energy. Andrew & Rakeesha Pelt decided to adopt Cameron last year after having fertility issues.
"Here are two people not used to having kids. Always wanting kids. Finally getting a kid. And it was like Christmas every day. Just to see that we could put a smile on his face. And he gravitated toward us real quickly as if he was already ours, fell asleep in my arms," said Andrew.
During the process, the Pelts say they were surprised to learn there are more than 1,300 Black children in foster care in Harris County.
In fact, last year, while Black children accounted for 18% of the child population in Harris County, they represent 47% of children placed into foster care.
"That creates this disproportionality issue that we are hoping to overcome and to disrupt."
DeJuana Jernigan is the president of Arms Wide Adoption Services. Their new initiative "It Takes a Village" focuses on getting more children, specifically Black children, placed in permanent homes with the help of a village; everyone from churches, county leaders to HBCU alumni groups.
"What we’ve already started doing in foster care," said Jernigan.
"Sometimes they just need those Black role models, things like that," said Andrew.
The Pelts say while the adoption process isn’t always quick and easy, it’s life changing for everyone involved.
"More people that I’ve been able to contact have these children just need a home," said Rakeesha.
For more information about Arms Wide Adoption Services, click here.