Spunky, affectionate and very active, Brianna, 12, delights in playing and exploring her surroundings. She is quite aware of her environment. A very musical youngster, she loves to sing, listen to music, and watch cartoons and Disney movies.

She also enjoys painting, drawing and dressing up, but her favorite activity is playing on the computer.

Diagnosed with autism, Brianna is enrolled in a special-education program where she learns how to function and direct her energy. She is eager to please and have fun. Brianna follows directions well and is making progress. She responds best to consistency, structure and routine.

Brianna is in need of a strong, patient, committed family capable of providing close supervision and channeling the energy of this endearing child. She is eligible for financial support.

Often people think of babies when they hear the word

adoption

. There are, however, relatively few infants in the foster care system awaiting permanent homes.

Most are school age; many have physical, emotional and/or mental challenges. It takes a special kind of family to be able to open heart and home to these youngsters.

Brianna and other children are available for adoption by approved applicants. The process usually takes two to 12 months.

For more information, contact the National Adoption Center, 1500 Walnut St., Suite 701, Philadelphia, 19102. Call 215-735-9988 or visit the Web site at www.adopt.org