PHOENIX -- Roman, who suffers from cerebral palsy, autism, and other ailments, has lived a life that no child should live.
“He was locked in a room with no light, no stimulation, nothing,” said the 10-year-old's foster mom, Lisa Battin. “He was malnourished. His brothers and sisters had to sneak him food.”
Roman and his seven brothers and sisters were removed from their parents’ home last year after Roman’s then 9-year-old brother Carlos told administrators at his school what was going on.
The children were placed in foster care, and Roman ended up with Battin and her husband. Under her attentive care, Roman is thriving. He is now able to eat with a fork and drink out of a cup, which he could not do before.
He goes to school, has a best friend, and even a girlfriend, according to Battin.
One of Roman’s brothers was adopted earlier this year. This Saturday, the other seven, including Roman, will be adopted as part of National Adoption Day.
“I wanted to foster or adopt a child with special needs,” said Battin, who, along with her husband, will formally adopt Roman on Saturday.
Although Roman and his siblings will live in four different homes, they will all live in Maricopa County and will still get to see each other.
Maricopa County typically hosts the largest National Adoption Day in the country. Last year a record-breaking 320 children were adopted, the highest number in the nation.
This year 350 children will be adopted.
Right now in Arizona there are 13,000 children in foster care. More than 4,000 of those children are eligible for adoption.
National Adoption Day is an effort to raise awareness of the more than 100,000 children in the United States who currently live in foster care and need permanent loving homes.
For Roman, his move from foster care to permanent home will mean more adventures. Lisa has taken him to ride roller coasters, but she has bigger plans for her soon-to-be son.
“As soon as the adoption happens, daddy’s getting a side car for the motorcycle, and I’m taking him zip-lining,” she said.