LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - In this month’s adoption segment, we share one teenager’s story who comes from the worst of situations.
Through THV11's partnership with the Arkansas Department of Human Services, we feature children who've come into care because of trauma that most of us can barely imagine.
But that wasn’t our focus this week. Instead, our cameras zoomed in on the utter joy 13-year old Cristian feels upon meeting and hooping with some University of Arkansas at Little Rock Trojan basketball players.
"Nice to meet you Cristian, I'm Andre!" Young Cristian had no idea what was in store. "You know how to play pig? Yes. So you’re gonna pop it off, alright," the players instructed Cristian.
A game of pig on the court at the Jack Stephens Center with the three young men.
"I wanna see one of y’all dunk!" Cristian exclaims! But this lighthearted game of hoops got heated when the Sun Belt players saw Cristian's ability. "I ain’t gonna let you win, you’re gonna have to earn it!” the players scream!
And Cristian did earn it!
"Yes, I've never seen him laugh like that and smile like that and I really believe it," said Felicia Price, Cristian’s DHS Adoption Specialist.
Price is charged with finding Cristian a family. "He's awesome, he's very respectful, no ma’am yes sir no sir," she shared.
Cristian has been a foster child for nearly 3 years according to Price. She said he simply needs a whole lot more positive mentoring and a family that cares. Cristian loves listening to music, playing basketball and football.
"He is part of a Hispanic family and he would like to keep that in his family,” said Price. “He'd like to learn more about their culture, write in Spanish, speak more Spanish."
Cristian was shy in front of our cameras, he told THV11 that this day was a dream come true. But in a video created by the local non-profit, Project Zero, Cristian talked about never having a father or a role model.
"The kids who grew up in foster care, they don't always have it easy,” said Cristian. “And they didn't have great families, so that's one of the reasons they're in foster care. It's nothing I want nobody else to go through because you have to move from different foster homes to foster homes."
Cristian soaked it all in on the court. The teenage boy, during a critical time, was showered with attention and an autographed ball from some men he respects.
"He'd just like a mom and dad to really help him out," said Price.
Cristian wanted us to share with all of you how thankful he was to the Trojans players for their time and attention. For more information on Cristian or any state child up for adoption, click here.