OK (KSWO)- A teenage girl who loves shopping has spent most of her life in DHS. She is hoping to find a family who accepts and loves her as their own child. 7News went shopping with Ericka at Steel Velvet Boutique in Chickasha. She tells her story in this month's "A Child Who Hopes."
"I love cheetah, leopard zebra, anything animal print." 17-year old Ericka is like many teenage girls. "I like shopping 'cause you get new clothes and shoes and you get more stuff in your closet."
Unlike many teens her age, she's lived with several different families since she was a young child.
"I've been in foster care since I was two and then I got out of foster care and then got put back into foster care."
Right now, she lives in a group home, but she wants to be adopted.
"I just want somebody that will treat me like their kid and just be a family."
Ericka says she gets sad and just wants a place to finally call home. Ericka says when she's frustrated her escape is eating but she now has to be careful what she eats because she's diabetic.
"I found out when I was 16. They told me I had it when I was 7. It runs in the family." Ericka has type two diabetes and is still adjusting to the new diet. "It's really hard because you see people eating things. That's how I am. It's really sad."
Another challenge she's facing is preparing to take a test to get her GED.
Growing up Ericka spent a lot of time outside and didn't have to do homework which set her back academically and now she's trying to learn how to read.
"It's been awesome but kinda frustrating too. I go to the library, I read and then we leave. It's kinda sad because I want to stay in the library all day long but we can't."
Once Ericka gets her GED she wants to be a cosmetologist and pay it forward.
"If people that was in DHS, I wouldn't pay 'em to get their hair done... I'd just have a business that would just give back to the people that really don't have anything. I just really want to give back to the people that was in my position"
DHS says a very structured family would be best for her. One that's inclusive and shows affection. She also needs a family who help her manager her health.
If you'd like to adopt Ericka call DHS at 580-250-3700 extension 3719.