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“Click for Kids”
By on September 24th, 2011
“Give me a good smile, be happy.”

Photographer Art Sundquist has a busy day ahead of him.  He has to make his clients look good.  “Sit up a little straighter,” he tells a young boy; one of several children he’ll photograph.

“I really enjoy capturing those expressions,” Sundquist says. “They’re just unguarded when they’re just having fun.”

Sundquist has been dealing in smiles and this time his clients all have one thing in common.  They want a family.

Michael, David and Bruntruze are all looking for a family to adopt them.  They’re taking part in the “Click for Kids” program by the Kansas Children’s Service League.

For almost eight years the league has displayed photographs of foster children all across the state of Kansas.  Professional photographers take the pictures for free.

“This is a pretty key initiative in regards to spreading awareness,” says Community Relations Coordinator Corey Leda.  “It creates a lot of good, we get some positive responses from it.”

There are currently more than 900 children in foster case, and “Click for Kids” is just one way to get to know them.

They are children like Michael who has a superhero collection; his favorite one is the Incredible Hulk.  Michael’s not shy about what he wants.  “I really do want to be adopted,” he says.  “All you do in foster case is move from home to home and it’s so annoying just to go home to home.”

11-year-old Bruntruze has spent five years in foster care.  “I can still get through ’till I get adopted, he says.  He smiles the entire time we’re talking to him.

Bruntruze admits he’s “always hyper,” but has specific goals for the future.  He wants to be a detective in the F.B.I.  For now, he hopes a family will help him put the past behind.  “It’s important for me because it will give me a chance to stop thinking about my birth family and start thinking of the future,” he says.

Those are things future adoptive parents can learn through “Click for Kids.”  The program’s success is growing.  “After about a year we see about 25-30% of the kids who will be adopted and that increases as time goes on,” Leda says.

And he wants to clear up any misconceptions about the children in the system.  “These children are not juvenile delinquents,” he says.  “These children are kids who have had tough circumstances and can really succeed with the right type of family.”

For children like Bruntruze, any family could be the right one.  “If they choose to adopt me, I would just be so happy, excited and whatever family chose me, I’m just going to love them with all my heart and do anything they say,” he says.

By Christina Karaoli Taylor KWCH 12 Eyewitness News – 11:00 p.m. CDT, September 21, 2011
(WICHITA, Kan.)—
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September 24th, 2011
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