SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Many foster kids have suffered a lot of trauma and it takes them a while to open up. But as soon as I met eight-year-old Matthew he was chatting away, telling me about the things he likes most and his favorite things to do.
Matthew, who is so friendly, is patiently waiting to find a forever family.
You could say, the cards have been stacked against Matthew in life as a child in foster care, but Matthew knows how to shuffle things around and turn bad hands into good ones. He is resilient and is excelling in school.
“We do math, then science. I've done my first science test, I got 100 percent on my math test,” he explained.
Many foster kids struggle in school with no parents at home to help guide them, but not Matthew. Despite not having help, he works through his homework.
This third grader is also incredibly polite and his interests include Aikido, which he offered to later demonstrate on me.
Matthew also loves to read. But first, he impressed me with how responsible he is, making sure one activity is put away before starting the next.
“He's so nice and really personable, likes to tell me facts all the time about what he learned in his newest book,” said Danielle Lingnau, Matthew’s Court Appointed Special Advocate.
Lingnau’s volunteer role is one that she's enjoyed for the past year and half with Matthew.
“He's really mature, he always tries to make me happy which is not the intent, when we go out, it's my job to make him happy,” she said. “So he's always trying to care for people, and I appreciate that, he's such a nice boy, always trying to do the right thing.”
Matthew says he is taught discipline and self-control in his Aikido classes and he was eager to teach me some moves.
But I chickened out and called for backup and Matthew's social worker was gracious enough to step in.
Karlis Thorpe says Matthew is a joy to be around and is a bright and impressive young boy who is engaging and endearing.
“He's real sociable too, he'll strike up a conversation with almost anyone, and he's always got a joke, and he's really funny. That's what I enjoy most about him,” added Thorpe.
Matthew has so much to offer and is just waiting for a forever home, where he can share his delightful spirit with a family.
“In talking with Matthew, he's told me before, ‘I just want to be with a loving family.’ I think that's really important to him, so I tell him hey, you know, that's my job to make sure we get you with a loving family,” continued Thorpe.
CBS News 8 would like to thank photographers Margery Squire and Ron Manahan for taking the Heart Gallery photos featured in the above video.
If you’re interested in adopting or becoming a foster family, please call 1-877-I-ADOPT-U.