Carmen, 13, says he enjoys engaging in hands-on activities because he learns better that way. He delights in taking objects apart to see how they work. He also likes to garden and his foster mother says that he does great work in their big yard. Carmen loves trying new foods and he is learning to cook with the help of his foster mother.

Other favorite pastimes include bike riding, skateboarding, and listening to country music. He is an avid fan of the Eagles, Phillies, and NASCAR. In the seventh grade, Carmen benefits from special-education services. He is excited about being on the school's football team and he is working hard in his classes because he knows he must do well academically to remain on the team. Science is his favorite subject.

Carmen has experienced many disappointments and losses in his young life. The ideal home for this teenager would be a loving, committed, supportive two-parent family that would provide the structure and supervision he needs to guide him through his teen years and into becoming a successful young man. He is eligible for financial subsidy.

Carmen and other children are available for adoption by approved applicants. For a free information packet 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