SAN DIEGO COUNTY, California — Over the past two decades, News 8 has profiled hundreds of foster children in San Diego County in an effort to find them a forever home.
Normally, we meet the kids at the park so they can relax and let loose, giving them the best chance of capturing the attention of a potential family.
Due to the pandemic, we now have to Zoom, which isn't ideal, but if you watch the video story that accompanies this article, you'll see that 11-year-old Jovan had no problem showcasing his personality!
Jovan is currently living in a group home and will be spending the holidays without a family. He is holding out hope, however, that a new year will bring him a new start.
In the meantime, he’s staying positive and dreams about the type of family he would like to have. He hopes to have pets, a mom, dad and siblings, but really, he says he would appreciate any family that takes him in and gives him a forever home.
Jovan loves sports and is a football and basketball fan. His favorite basketball teams are the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
He envisions a dad he can play hoops with and a mom he can spend time outdoors with as well.
“I want to be able to teach her how to do like sports and skateboarding,” said Jovan.
“I think Jovan would do great with a family that's all about the outdoors, that would take him hiking and seeing the world through a very organic lens,” said a staff member at Jovan’s group home.
While she spoke about him via Zoom, Jovan made expressive faces, indicating he agreed with her assessment.
“I think that he would really appreciate all the leaves and bugs and wildlife, so a family that's really going to take him on some adventures. He's a very adventurous kid that likes climbing. He's kind of fearless,” the staff member said.
“One thing that I love about Javon is that he has never lost his zest for life or his zeal for life. He is just such a charismatic kid,” said San Diego County Protective Services Worker Crystal Irving.
She said Jovan has a great amount of hope that he will find a forever family. While he waits, however, he is adaptable and is making the best of his living situation, capturing the hearts of staff and social workers.
“He is unforgettable. You've met him over zoom, and he is truly unforgettable,” Irving said.
Jovan, a sixth-grader, is also doing well in school.
“He has been doing fantastic with the remote learning,” said Derek Gamble, Jovan’s Court Appointed Special Advocate, also known as a CASA.
“He is Mr. Tidy. He gets his work done and completes everything, and he usually does it pretty quickly. He does it with purpose. And he is very well known for organizing and packing things up very neatly,” said Gamble.
Jovan told me he loves to read and write. Harry Potter books are his favorite.
“I like how when they do the magic, when there's like bad things happening, they just do magic,” said Jovan.
While no one can wave a magic wand to erase the instability of his past, having a forever family would give Jovan just what he needs to continue to thrive.
“All of our kids deserve to grow up in a family where they belong, and are loved and are committed to,” said San Diego County Protective Services Worker Nicole Espinosa.
Toward the end of our zoom call, I told Jovan, “I wish I could have met you in person, but this was pretty good.”
He reacted with sweet positivity and said, “At least you can see me. It’s better than a phone call!”
I asked Jovan if he had any questions for me. Without skipping a beat, he eagerly asked, “How long is it going to take until you find a family?”
I told him that I don’t know, but am hoping it will be fast. And while the pandemic may slow the process, I know everyone who cares about him will make sure he is matched with the right forever family as quickly as possible.
“Any family would be lucky to have you in their home,” said Espinosa, speaking directly to Jovan. “I want to tell you that, because you're an awesome kid.”
If you'd like to learn more about becoming a Foster or Adoptive Resource Family with the County of San Diego, click here.
We also invite you to donate to Promises 2 Kids (link to website) 25th Annual BOMA Holliday Toy Drive benefitting foster children in Sam Diego County. Visit here (www.cbs8.com/donate) for more information.