Since May is National Foster Care Month, this next story is an incredibly powerful illustration of the bond between a foster child and his foster mom.
Foster care is meant to be temporary, but the relationships formed often last a lifetime.
Through THV11's partnership with the Arkansas Department of Human Services, we are proud to share Eric's story.
Spend even a moment with Eric, and you can't help but smile.
"He's polite – yes sir no sir, yes ma'am, no ma'am. Very well mannered, very fun loving."
Today, he's aiming for a strike.
After hearing his story, he's had enough gutter balls in life.
"For five years, I think."
Five years, Eric explains. Five years in foster care.
Luckily, he loves his foster family, Keith Metz with DCFS explains.
"It took him a little while to warm up to her, but when he did he bonded immediately. He's a great big brother to a younger foster child also in the home," Metz said.
"He's a great younger brother to a big brother also in the home, and his foster mom says he's just a joy to be around."
After each split, each pin down, we grew to adore the 15-year old with slight developmental delays growing up in state foster care
"The foster home is a fantastic place for him, but it is by design a temporary placement even though he's been there quite some time."
"We don't want to move him from that home for any other reason than adoption."
Metz says Eric has made tremendous progress since in the past several years, attributing that to the power and stability of Eric's foster family.
"Yes ma'am, they help me when I need it."
He describes the family as, "making memories," and spending time together.
"We mostly go shopping sometimes," Eric said. Shopping and going to the movies.
He knows what he wants to be when he grows up, "I wanna be a youtuber and I wanna work for union pacific railroad."
"And he's torn, to be honest with you. Between his love for and his loyalty to his foster mom and his desire to be in a family."
A desire that runs deep for a boy with a sweet heart who's ready to strike out and score a family of his own.
"He's a great young man with a lot of love and a lot of progress to give," Metz said of Eric.
Thanks to Professor Bowl for letting Eric bowl game after game. He beat me the day we played!
There are no costs associated with adopting a child in state foster care.