Phil Trexler

Twelve-year-old William was looking for more than a strike Saturday as he worked the alleys at Bill White’s Akron Lanes.

The preteen was looking for a new home, with a mom and a dad, and maybe a sibling or two.

“My hope and my dream is to get a family,” he said with a spark of optimism. “It would mean a whole lot. A whole lot.”

William was one of 28 kids who took part in the Wendy’s Wonderful Kids Bowling Mixer hosted by Caring for Kids Inc. of Cuyahoga Falls.

The children ranging in age from 8 to 17 were paired up together and with the six prospective adoptive parents who came to the meet-and-greet.

The goal of the Caring for Kids event is to introduce the kids to potential families in a casual and fun setting.

The kids and grown-ups bowled all afternoon, ate pizza, took pictures and tried to win prizes.

Mike and Audrey Sterle of Macedonia are one of those couples looking to adopt. So far, it’s been a two-year process.

On Saturday, they shared a lane and bowled with William and Christopher, 14.

The children’s last names are not being used in order to protect their privacy.

“We feel we’re at a point in our lives where we want to bring a child in, show them good role models and show them what it means to have a good family,” Mike Sterle said. “One of these days we know we will find the right kid.”

While the couple has come close to adopting a child, Mike Sterle said the process is a “two-way street” which takes time to ensure that the family and the child are each comfortable and compatible with one another.

The children seeking adoption are mostly from troubled families, and their custody has been transferred into a foster family setting.

“It’s unfortunate,” Mike Sterle said. “There’s so many troubled kids out there. It’s really sad.”

Caring for Kids is a private, nonprofit adoption, foster care and home study agency. The group is also looking for adults to serve as mentors to some of the young children in need of stable, supportive relationship.

Mimi Surloff Markis of Caring for Kids said finding a permanent home for the children is vital to their future. Children who are not adopted age out of the foster family setting after age 18.

“Adoption will make or break their future depending on it if they can have a family,” she said. “When you think about it, nowadays sending a kid out into the world at age 18 to totally fend for themselves, the statistics are so against them.”

For more information, call 330-928-0044 or visit the Caring for Kids website at www.cfkadopt.org

Phil Trexler can be reached at 330-996-3717 or ptrexler@thebeaconjournal.com. He can be followed on Twitter at www.twitter.com/PhilTrexler