Eric wasn't always so sure he'd find a forever family of his own. At 17-years-old, he was waiting and hanging on to hope like most teenagers in foster care.
"I ain’t got to wait no more,” he said. “Now I've got a family and I'm happy to have a family, and it means a because I know when we get home we're going to celebrate."
Eric’s parents, who are young themselves, say they always wanted to adopt. but the timing was always in question.
"When the opportunity presented itself it was like, 'What better time than now?'” Eric’s new mother Manijeh Huereca said. “If we kept waiting until we're ready, that day may never come."
Forty-three percent of children waiting to be adopted throughout the state of Texas are older children and teens between the ages of 10 and 17.
"I think everybody can do something, and I think some people may have that pulling at the heart strings to adopt or be a foster parent, but I think for everyone there's something they can do for these kids," Eric’s new father Jacob Huereca said.
Whether volunteering as a mentor, or spreading the word about foster care and adoption, there are many ways you can help.
"There is a lot of kids in the foster system, but there's a lot we can do for them,” Jacob said. “I'd encourage people if you're thinking of being a foster parent, follow through with that gut feeling, but if that's not for you, do something, there's something that can be done.”
For Eric, he finally found a place he can call home forever. For other children waiting, Eric and his new family are living proof that there's still hope to find a forever family.
Eric has plans to go to college and become a Marine now with parents to encourage and support him.
For more information about adoption, visit the AdoptionCoalitionTX.org.
The coalition is also in need of Secret Santa donors for foster children. If you'd like to make Christmas brighter for a Central Texas foster child, contact ACTSecretSanta@gmail.com.