SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - He's an 11-year-old boy who's spent more than half his life in the foster care system, but TJ isn't giving up hope he'll find a permanent home. This avid young football player is hoping to score a big win when it comes to finding a forever family.
We started our time together at the park with a chat about football. TJ would like to be a running back. He also said his current team hopes to win the championship and during the games he scores touchdowns.
“Oh, he's really good. He has an arm on him and he's a little bite sized when it comes to his stature, but don't let that fool you. He is amazing on the football field,” said protective services worker Crystal Irving.
His passion for the sport is palpable. TJ said he's been playing football since the age of five, which was the same year he entered foster care. When asked if it has been difficult in the foster system, TJ responds: “No, I'm used to it.”
But TJ is wise enough to know that it's not how life has to be. His game plan includes finding a forever family that could cheer him on from the sidelines, which is something he doesn't have right now.
“I would like a family that is nice that does a lot of things, like plays football, plays basketball,” explained TJ. “And I would just like a family that would be nice to me.”
TJ is optimistic he will find a loving home and will be so thankful to his new family.
“Because they took the time and adopted me and did all that stuff. They don't have to do that, but did it out of their own heart and did it,” TJ continued.
“A lot of times when children do get to the age of 11, they do start losing hope,” said Irving. “He's been in the system for quite some time, his resilience amazes me.”
I found TJ to be easygoing and outgoing and willing to try anything - even some impromptu reporting. And he has one clear focus: finding an adoptive home.
“It would mean happiness, because I finally will have a family that loves me and wants to care about me,” said TJ.
“He's had his share of let downs, but his resilience just continues to hold out hope that he will get the family he wants,” Irving added.
If you are interested in adopting or becoming a foster family, please call 1-877-I-ADOPT-U.
CBS News 8 would also like to thank Margery Squire for taking the Heart Gallery photos featured in our video.