Ricky is a great kid. He's very polite, well behaved and usually has a smile on his face. He enjoys video games. So, an afternoon at Chuck E Cheese's in Tyler was right up his ally. "The race car game. That was my favorite and the basketball game," says Ricky cheerfully. This 11 year old thrives on playing sports. His favorite is football and one day hopes to play professionally. Debbie Nobel, his Foster Mom says, "I feel like he could pretty much do anything he set his mind to. If he really wants it, he could achieve it." This 5th grader is smart and catches on quick. "When we go into our science class we learn a lot of neat stuff," explains Ricky. However, he could use some extra one on one attention with his school work. When he's not inside doing homework, he enjoys being outside fishing and watching the animals. Ricky says, "We go deer hunting, or hunting, or just go down and fill up the feeders." Despite a background of abuse and neglect, Ricky is a healthy boy with no medical problems. He was removed from his home about a year an a half ago. Although it was a bad situation for him, it was still a familiar place. "Well, I kind of miss my old home," Ricky says sadly. Debbie adds, "You could tell he was nervous when he first came into foster care. He wanted to move in, but he was really nervous. So, I just sat down and talked to him and just let him know everything is going to be O.K. You're safe. You don't have anything to worry about. He was O.K. after that." What Ricky needs, is a forever family with a strong male figure to help with his self esteem. "He just needs somebody to give him a lot of love and just be there for him and let him know he's a special kid," says Debbie. And what Ricky wants in a family? "I'd like other brothers to wrestle with and play football with them." But most of all Ricky says, "I hope I have a family that loves me."
If you'd like to know more about Ricky or if you want information on how to become a Foster or Adoptive parent, call our Gift of Love hotline. The toll free number is 1-888-kids-275.
Gillian Sheridan, reporting.