COLUMBUS (WCMH) — More than 50 kids get adopted annually from Franklin County Children Services. Still, that leaves more than 400 children who are waiting patiently for their forever homes in Franklin County.

With National Adoption Day coming up, the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption wants to remind people about the critical need to adopt children, especially teens and those with special needs.

“These are children that are like every other child,” said Rita Soronen, president and CEO of the Dave Thomas Foundation. “They’re creative, they’re talented, they’re excited about life. They’ve had a rough beginning. They should be cherished, they should be supported so that they can thrive just like every other child.”

Soronen said a lot of these children need a second chance. It’s important to remember a lot of these kids are coming from traumatic and tragic situations and when the pandemic forced the foundation to close interactions with potential families, that didn’t help matters.

“That’s why I think this is more of a special celebration,” she said.

One mother, Lisa, adopted 10-year-old Oliver Wednesday. She said she purposely adopted a child with special needs and is one of six children she has adopted.

“I used to fill in as staffing and went into a nursing home,” Lisa said. “That was the first time I realized kids can go into a nursing home.”

Though it may seem intimidating, it’s something people should consider.

“The kids need us,” Lisa said. “You don’t have to be perfect; just get out there and help. They need love.”

Soronen said the adoption process does take some time.

For a step-by-step guide from the foundation on adoption, click here.

If you cannot adopt or foster, there are other ways to help. The foundation is looking to raise $40,000 before Nov. 20. To donate, click here.