Life Is An Adventure For This Inquisitive Girl

Posted: June 01, 1990

Grace, 11, is bubbling over with laughter as she offers an answer. "It's cabbage!" she announces. "And raisins were grapes and pickles were cucumbers, horses were colts and pigs were piglets!"

She grins as she is complimented on her quick thinking. She says her favorite subject in fourth grade is math. She likes adding, subtracting and multiplying, gets mostly B's on her report card and enjoys singing in the school chorus.

Everything seems interesting to this outgoing, curious child. She'll venture a spirited opinion and will listen respectfully when you have the floor.

The subject of paper is being discussed in the meeting room of the Adoption Center. Grace says they probably cut trees real small, take a giant piece of bark, squash it, pound it and run it through a "certain machine." She giggles when asked what she means by "certain," then goes on with her opinion.

"The wood would be put in water, swished around and flattened out with a rolling pin," she explains. "Then you could dye it if you wanted to and hang it out to dry and you'd have paper."

The ethnic heritage of this blue-eyed, brown-haired girl is French, Dutch, German, Irish and Swedish. She is in good health, has an average I.Q. and is eligible for financial subsidy.

Her background includes neglect, abuse and emotional deprivation, and she is receiving therapy to help her deal with feelings of loss, rejection, anger and low self-esteem.

Her social worker stresses Grace's survival skills and says her strong will can be positively channeled. She adds that although Grace can have difficulty when she becomes anxious, firmness, consistency and limit-setting aid her in

finding calm in a storm.

Cats, dogs and little children are tops on Grace's list of things she likes. Her favorite activities include camping, swimming (even in water over her head), sleeping in a tent with friends, doing sit-ups, going over a rope bridge, playing basketball, throwing a Frisbee and going through an obstacle course. "I was at Camp Concern last year," Grace begins, and there's a smile on her face, just remembering. "It was for foster kids, and we did all that stuff and had contests and I won prizes."

Except for liver, spinach and stuffed peppers, Grace has a resoundingly positive outlook on life and she is waiting for a permanent home.

This child and others are available for adoption by approved applicants. The adoption process usually takes from two to 12 months. For information, write to: National Adoption Center, in care of Paddy Noyes, 1218 Chestnut St., Philadelphia 19107, or phone 925-0200.

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