DALLAS — When you're in foster care, getting matched with the right forever family is crucial.
For over three years, we've been looking for the perfect family to adopt a 16-year-old boy on the autism spectrum. And we won't give up. This is his third Wednesday's Child feature, and we hope the third time is the charm.
Zachery needs parents just as special as he is.
The story below is from our visit with him in 2022 when he was 15 years old:
Love makes everything grow! Today, 15-year-old Zachery gave the plants at Gardenuity in Dallas a good drink.
He took care of them with a gentle hand. Zach enjoyed watering the plants. He especially enjoyed spending time with the people who take care of him, people like Justin Claunch. He is Zach's Court Appointed Special Advocate, or CASA.
"Zachery is a loving kid. He's a sweet kid," Claunch described. "If you're Zach's friend, you'll always be Zach's friend."
Zach came into foster care eight years ago.
For the last three years CPS has teamed up with WFAA to try and find him a Forever Home. We met him in 2019. Since, he's grown like a weed!
Like a growing 15-year-old boy, he eats a lot.
"I like to go to the McDonald's," he said proudly. "Or Chili's with my dad."
Zach's CPS caseworker sent us a picture of Zach with his dad. While Zach's dad can't take care of him, they are always in contact and love each other.
Going out for burgers and ice cream is their thing.
"I've spent years taking Zachery to get food," Claunch said. "He loves food. He's obsessed with certain places, and he loves to go there with those that care about him."
He cares about Zach and is determined to find him a Forever Family.
"I've known Zachery for six years. I've worked with him in several different ways," Claunch said. "I've watched him grow up over several years. He was nine when I started with him. Now he's 15."
Zach needs a family who will help him to bloom and grow by providing stability and consistency.
"Somebody that would be able to provide some consistency because of his autism," Claunch said. "Someone that has patience and love to give and can work with him in his tough moments."
Because of his needs, Claunch said it's very important that Zach doesn't age out of foster care because he deserves a family who's gentle and will plant happiness in his life.
For more information on how to adopt Zachery, please send all approved home studies to LaQueena Warren at LaQueena.Warren@dfps.texas.gov.
Please remember to include Zachery's name within the subject line. If you're not licensed, please visit adoptchildren.org to find out more information on how to become licensed to foster and/or adopt or contact LaQueena Warren at 817-304-1272.
For more Wednesday's Child features, go to wfaa.com/wednesdayschild.