SAN DIEGO — She's a 6th grader whose favorite subject is math, but what she's really counting on is finding a forever family.
I met 12-year-old Monserrath through Zoom, which isn't the ideal way to get to know someone, but she was brave enough to share her story virtually, hoping her future parents are watching.
Monserrath has been in the foster care system since she was seven years old. She has deep gratitude for the foster families she's lived with over the past five years.
"I just want to really say thank you and I appreciate all of the foster homes. It's just so amazing... those people that open their homes for people like us," reflected Monserrath when talking about the different families she's lived with during her time in foster care.
She's currently living in a group home, and while she tries to stay positive, she says it can be challenging.
"It's a little difficult," she said. "It's hard going to school and seeing all your friends being picked up by their parents, and it's just very heartbreaking," she shared.
When Monserrath thinks about her future, she envisions one day having a family to share her special milestones, attend her awards ceremonies, and celebrate her graduation with her. Right now, she is missing that kind of family support.
She says she'd be so very thankful to have a forever family, because she knows what it's like, to live without one.
"I feel like it would give me a lot of joy and I would be happy to get adopted," she said. "I hope this family finds me, and they think I'm a good kid, because I am."
Monserrath said she would offer love, kindness and respect, knowing that they opened the door for her and let her into their lives.
She dreams of doing things with a mom. "After the coronavirus, maybe going to the movies, going shopping, doing fun stuff, going out to the park," she said with a smile. She said she'd love to play video games with a dad and just hang out together.
Monserrath loves long walks and bike rides. Her social workers say she would thrive in a family that enjoys the outdoors.
"I think a family with an active lifestyle, maybe with a dog or a cat, some sort of pet, maybe get out do some bike rides by mission bay, some beach trips, camping," said Rodney Byrd, Senior Protective Services Worker with the County of San Diego.
She has a team of people supporting her in her journey to find a permanent home.
"She just is a really fun kid to be around. She's very polite. She's shy at the beginning. But then she gets talking," said Protective Services Worker Israel Lefebre.
When she grows up-- Monserrath wants to work with kids in the same situation she's in now..
"I feel like I'm going to be able to help people when I'm older," she said.
But first, she needs a family to be there for her.
"For Monserrath.. I want her just to be in a place where she's happy, she's loved, she feels like she's part of a family unit. That's the main part that's missing for her," said Byrd.
"Growing up in and different placements, placement to placement in foster homes or group homes. It's no way to grow up," he added.
That's why Monserrath decided to open up about her life on Zoom-- not easy to do at the age of 12, or any age really-- she's hoping that sharing from her heart, leads a family to open theirs.
"Good job, Monserrath," said Senior Protective Services Worker Nicole Espinosa. "Any family would be lucky to have you."
To learn more about becoming a Foster or Adoptive Resource Family with the County of San Diego, click here.