10-year-old Willis hoping to find a forever family - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

10-year-old Willis hoping to find a forever family

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Ten-year-old Willis dreams about being adopted by a professional basketball or football player, but a family that could at least take him to see a NBA or NFL game would work too.

All Willis needs is a family to give him a lot of love, so he can learn to trust once again.

Willis was a bit guarded when we first met at the park and who can blame him, it's common for foster kids like Willis to build up a wall to protect themselves, after being let down time and time again by their own family.

"Why would they trust someone else to care for them who they don't even know. I think it's very hard," said Protective Services worker Nicole Espinosa.

Willis and I met the day after his 10th birthday, which is a typically a huge milestone for kids - hitting that double digit mark. But Willis didn't even remember what presents he received. Where was the excitement about turning 10, I wondered, and then came the heartbreaking answer. For many foster kids, birthdays can be quite sad.

"Those can be triggers for our kids and so I think that's why he was a little more reserved today," said Espinosa. "Birthdays are a reminder that he didn't have a family to celebrate with him and he said he didn't do much yesterday for his birthday."

Something Willis did do on his birthday was play basketball. It's one of his favorite sports. It took a lot of convincing on my part to get him to show me some of his moves, but Willis finally acquiesced.

"He's really athletic and that's one thing he can feel good about. He's very athletic and he feels confident in that area," Espinosa explained.

But what Willis is missing is a family to cheer him on at his games. His favorite team is the Miami Heat.

"Sometimes I get nervous, when they go into OT."

And as Willis and I continued to chat, he began to open up a little taking the microphone.

Willis tried to stay stoic, after telling me he wasn't ticklish, but then we caught him smiling.

By the end of our playdate, this adventurous third grader tackled a huge tree and was all smiles as he sat proudly perched on the branch.

"He's a neat kid, very outgoing once he feels comfortable and safe with someone," added Espinosa.

If you're interested in adopting or becoming a foster family, call 1-877-I-ADOPT-U during regular business hours.

And if you're heading to the San Diego County Fair, San Diego County Adoptions has a booth in the Exhibit Hall by the Fun Zone. There will be social workers, and foster and adoptive parents on hand, to answer any questions you may have about the process.

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