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    9-year old turns heartbreak into hope

    6:03 PM, Feb 7, 2013   |    comments
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    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- Inside Paul Mitchell's 'Imagine' Salon School, an ordinary girl gets the royal treatment. Stylist Litisha Atkins is making certain 9-year old Akira feels like a princess.

    Her hair was washed with the finest shampoo, then snipped dried straightened and sprayed. It's all for a sweet, outgoing foster child who is wise almost beyond her years.

    "Shampoo smells good!" Akira boasted.

    For the first time, Akira saw the inside of a beauty shop. This was her first professional haircut, and it was the first time the focus is 100 percent on Akira.

    "When I got taken away from my parents I couldn't stop crying," recalled Akira. "I've been away from my mom for 5 years now. I love my mom to death, and she loves me, but even though she wasn't able to get me back, I appreciate that she tried as hard as she could."

    And, that is just the first of Akira's heartbreak. She also survived the death of a sibling.

    "One of my sisters passed," she said. "I don't know how I really feel about that."

    Then her brother was adopted. Sadly, that family also tried to adopt Akira, but then gave her back.

    "They really did care about me," Akira explained. "It's just that I really didn't fit in. My brother cried for almost a month; he would go to my room and ask where I was, and I wouldn't be in there, and he'd go to his room get under his covers and start crying because he missed me."

    The day was for girly toes, pretty hair, and regal treatment for a girl dreaming of a better life--a girl desperately hoping a family will give her a chance.

    "It would be really exciting, and I won't have to go to anymore homes, and I would be there with them forever," Akira said with so much hope. "I've been in foster care for 5 years, and I just want a family that won't mess up and have to let me go."

    Akira said her day at the salon is the second best day of her life. The first is when she and her brother visited to Disneyland years ago.

    Special thanks to Litisha and everyone at the Paul Mitchell salon who made Akira's day so special.

    "This is the best day ever!" Akira exclaimed.

    If you'd like more information on Akira or the hundreds of children up for adoption click on the Arkansas Department of Human Services adoption website.

    There are no costs associated with adopting a child in state care.

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