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ASHLEY, TOYA NEED HOME TOGETHER

Ashley and Toya are sisters who need to find a home together. After years of abuse and neglect and many moves in foster care, they need the love and security of a family where they know they belong.

Ashley was born May 14, 1987, and is a charming child who likes to play outside and with dolls and other toys that girls her age enjoy. Initially shy, she is more outgoing as she becomes comfortable. Ashley has good social skills and can attach to a family. She is generally well-behaved and follows rules, but she holds her feelings inside and then periodically explodes with negative and sometimes destructive and aggressive behaviors.She has been in a special education preschool to help prepare her for kindergarten. She isn't far behind, but Child Find felt she would benefit from the additional help she would receive in preschool.

Toya turned 7 on June 28. She likes adult attention and is eager to please. Outdoor play, bike riding and swimming are favorite activities. She also enjoys drawing, dolls and the family pets.

The abuse, neglect and rejections that Toya experienced resulted in significant emotional and behavior problems. Her social worker believes it will take her some time to attach to an adoptive family. She acts out her feelings in negative ways and is adept at manipulating others. She is learning to verbalize her feelings rather than act them out.

She was in a second-grade special education class. She made tremendous strides in her behavior but is still way behind academically and will probably need special education classes for several years.

Both girls will benefit from a warm, consistent, nurturing family. Ashley needs parents who can empathize with her and help her learn to express herself appropriately. Toya needs clear expectations and consequences regarding acceptable behavior. Therapy to help them adjust to yet another family and to deal with issues of abuse, separation and loss will continue to be needed. It is important to both girls to have a black family. Financial assistance is available.

Editor's note: Every week the Deseret News profiles a special-needs child available for adoption through the Rocky Mountain Adoption Exchange. An estimated 35,000 children are considered "special needs" because they are an ethnic minority, disabled, older or hard to place because of several siblings needing to be placed together. Anyone interested in a child may call the exchange at 359-7700.