Oklahoma continues to have one of the worst situations in American when it comes to orphaned children. With more than 9,500 foster children in the Oklahoma state system, you’d think that politicians would work to make sure these kids had a place to sleep every night. However, only about 5,200 families are approved as foster homes. This means that some 4,300 children are left without a family night after night, and this can be extremely hard.
Six-year-old Kaitlynn is one of the children who has fallen through the cracks of Oklahoma’s failing child protection system. Because so many desperate children like Kaitlynn are looking for families in Oklahoma, too many are bound to be disappointed. Kaitlynn, like hundreds of other forgotten children in Oklahoma, does not know love in the way children with normal upbringings do. Instead, Kaitlynn has been forced to find love in beautiful things like glitter, hair bows, and from the Disney movie Frozen.
Both Frozen movies celebrate the connection between two sisters. The two main characters, Elsa and Ana, may have their problems, but they love can never be overlooked. Their bond is strong even if the world tries to tear them apart. Unfortunately, Kaitlynn’s experience in Oklahoma is nothing like the majesty described in Frozen.
Kaitlynn has three siblings. However, she’s the only one who is not being adopted. That’s right. The Oklahoma system was able to find homes for Kaitlynn’s three sisters while leaving her alone to cope with the news without help. And because Oklahoma has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, Kaitlynn has not been able to see her brother and two sisters like she usually would. This has left her feeling more alone than ever.
Kaitlynn’s adoption worker, Tifani Burns, is distraught that Kaitlynn will not be adopted along with her three siblings. She knows that the little six-year-old girl feels left out and worries that the child may grow up with some sort of self-esteem complex.
However, Kaitlynn has remained strong despite the system failing her.
“She’s adjusted to the situation well, it’s just very important for her to maintain those sibling bonds because she loves her brother and her two sisters,” Tifani Burns said.
Fortunately, Kaitlynn does have Tifani. While Tifani can only do so much to help find Kaitlynn a forever home, she is clearly trying. She wanted to get the word out about this little girl’s challenging circumstances. With no one to go home to at the end of the day, Kaitlynn is all alone with no one except her dedicated adoption worker. Oklahoma needs to hire more people like Tifani Burns.
KFOR reported that the ideal home for Kaitlynn is a two-parent household, preferably with a stay-at-home parent and a sibling. Kaitlynn loves her siblings and would benefit from a close bond with another child.
In the report below, you’ll meet Kaitlynn and hear from her adoption caseworker, Tifani Burns. You’ll meet a little girl who just wants a family to love in time for the holidays this year.