SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - He's a 12-year-old boy who doesn't know what it's like to have a family, because he's never really had one. Antonio has been in foster care for the past decade and was just a toddler when he was placed into the system.
Antonio, who's described as curious and imaginative, has been waiting far too long to find a forever home.
The tween years are difficult with the support of a family so imagine going through adolescence alone. It's what Antonio is having to do with no forever home to call his home.
When asked if life is difficult, Antonio says it “seems pretty normal.” Normal, because he has been in foster care since he was just two-year-old. He knows no other life.
It's hard to believe this is the same boy I met three years ago. In 2012, we featured Antonio and his younger brother. The two were hoping to be adopted by the same forever family, after having endured about a dozen different placements since they entered the system 2004.
But sadly, Antonio is the only one still waiting. And he says he doesn't get to see he brother very often.
But Antonio has found a stable foster home, where he's been for the past year and a half. A family that encourages him to get outdoors and explore the world.
“I like to go to different places, maybe hiking, like really high mountains. I like to get to the top and look down. See how far I've gotten,” he said.
“Antonio does really well when he has an adult male role model in his life. They really get him involved in construction, robotics,” explained Cindy Ochoa with New Alternatives Foster Family Agency.” He likes soccer, going on hikes, anything hands on to get him out of the house, off the electronics, he does really well at.”
Antonio wants to go to college and says he'd like to be a mechanic when he grows up, because he likes to take things apart and put them back together.
“He's always been hands-on outside, helping with landscaping, he's helped the foster father with construction, helping him build the backyard BBQ pit, so he really like those activities,” continued Ochoa.
Now all Antonio needs is a forever family to give him the unconditional love and support he has never received.
If you are interested in adopting or becoming a foster family, please call 1-877-I-ADOPT-U.
CBS News 8 would like to thank Boomers San Diego for hosting a fun day at the park and also photographers Margery Squier and Ron Manahan for taking the Heart Gallery photos you saw in our story.