LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- May is National Foster Care month, and through THV11's partnership with the Arkansas Department of Human Services, we are working to help find placement for the hundreds of foster children up for adoption.
The older a child gets, the tougher he or she is to place. But that's not stopping 9-year-old Matthew from the hope that a family is out there wanting to bring him home.
"His name is Bender, and he's one of our chinchillas,” explained an animal care tech at the Museum of Discovery. “He's four years old and he lives here at the museum, and he's got a very good sense of smell and he's trying to figure out who we all are."
Little Bender is figuring out who Matthew is.
"He's a nice little thing," Matthew said. "Does he lick anybody?”
“No he doesn't lick very much, he mostly just smells," the tech explained.
Matthew is 9, and he's athletic.
"I'm gonna be a football player, when I grow up,” Matthew said.
He's finishing up fourth grade, and he's up for adoption
"Yea I want a family," he said.
DHS Adoption Specialist Jessica Warren said he’s ready to find a forever home.
"He’s a great kid, he’s well rounded, he has a great personality, he's a kid, he wants to be loved, he wants a family," Warren said.
And it wasn't just chinchillas at the museum, we learned about steam and clouds. Matthew is strong, too, doing his curls for the camera. He wishes he could do them for a family.
"He does need structure, he does need someone to show that he can be loved and treat him like a regular child,” Warren said. “He hasn't had that in a long time, and it's something he needs and wants."
"I can't live with my mom or dad,” Matthew shared. “It's terrible I can't see them til I'm 18."
Matthew would rather play than talk about foster care.
"It's been doing ok,” he said. “I'm just trying to work some things out."
"He does have some behaviors but his behaviors aren't barriers to being adopted or having a family," Warren explained.
A boy in foster care, keeping his strength, brave enough to share his battle on TV.
"He didn't know exactly what I was coming to pick him up for,” Warren said. “But once I told him he was excited, because he was like, ‘ok maybe this time somebody will actually want me.’"
A big thank you to Museum of Discovery, which was closed on the day of our shoot, but opened up to host Matthew. If you'd like details on Matthew or any child up for adoption, log on to Arkansas Department of Human Services adoption website or view the heart gallery.