SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — There’s something about Mary, that just makes you smile.
Getting to know someone through Zoom, can be challenging, but this 15-year-old foster youth is proving it can be done.
I spent about 40 minutes chatting with Mary and she did such a lovely job sharing her hopes and dreams of finding a forever family.
Mary is 15 years old and has been living in a group home for the past two years. She tries to focus on the positives, including “being able to meet new kids and play with them and hang out and share things that we have in common,” she told me.
She said she is thankful for the resources and support she's received at the group home which has helped her heal from past trauma and having to be placed in foster care through no fault of her own.
“I'm actually really grateful to be in a group home because I'm getting help and I can have my needs met,” Mary shared.
It’s time now, however, for Mary to find a permanent home.
“I want to live with someone that loves me and cares for me,” she said.
As for her ideal forever family, Mary said, “I want a mom and maybe a dad. I would like a mom that will be there for me and be there to talk to me when I'm feeling down and spend time with her.”
Mary would also love siblings.
“I would like to have other kids so I can play with them and not be alone because I don't really like being alone,” she said. She added, “I would like dogs because I love dogs.”
I was so impressed at how honest and open Mary was during our talk.
“She's been so open about what she wants and being able to tell me directly how she feels about that and about what she sees her forever family looking like,” said San Diego County Protective Services Worker Patricia Victorio.
When I asked Mary to share three positive traits that she has learned about herself, she replied, “I'm sweet, I have a contagious smile and I'm really funny.”
Her Court Appointed Special Advocate, or CASA, Laura King, said, “It's true and she's right. It's hard to see Mary without her making you laugh and smile. She has a beautiful smile. It definitely shines and brightens everyone up.”
Mary would also love a family that loves to explore the outdoors.
Tish, one of the staff members at Mary’s group home said, “Mary likes to get out there and ride the bike, too.”
“Mary is just a very sweet young lady. She just really deserves to have a family that's going to be there for her, and like she said, to support her,” said Tish, who has known Mary for almost two years.
Mary is ready for a family who will be there for special milestones. She shared a photo with me of her 8th-grade promotion last year, and she is hoping to have a forever family cheering her on by the time she graduates from high school.
“I’m just hoping the best for Mary because I know she has a lot to offer and she will thrive in a family,” said her CASA Laura.
To learn more about becoming a Foster or Adoptive Resource Family with the County of San Diego, click here.