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Andrey is a local teen in foster care with a story of resilience

Andrey, 13, has spent his entire childhood moving.

AUSTIN, Texas — Andrey was left at an orphanage in Saint Petersburg, Russia, when he was just two years old. He told KVUE's Hannah Rucker that he never really got to know his biological parents.

A few years after he was left at the orphanage, he was adopted by a Texas couple. They brought him to the U.S. but then lost custody of him.

"My mom had been on drugs around that time," Andrey said.

Andrey has lived in five different group homes, and he currently lives in one now. He said some of the homes have been better than others. 

"[One home] kind of felt more like a boot camp for me because it was like, it was constantly working out in the day, in the hot sun. I didn't really like it there," Andrey said.

All that moving at a young age has made it difficult for Andrey to have a normal childhood, and he said it has affected his mental health.

"It's been kind of frustrating because, like, I don't know if I'm going to stop going to each placement and I don't know if I'm going to go home or if I'm just going to keep going on and on and on and on," Andrey said. "It was really traumatizing for me because I was going places I had never been to before."

Now 13, Andrey is looking toward the future. He said he hopes to use his story to inspire others, and he would like to either be in movies some day or help make them.

"I'd get the respect from a lot of people who would like my movies. And because it also gives me a chance to be creative," he said.

Andrey also likes working with Legos, singing Billie Eilish and learning in his social studies class.

"I like building houses with Legos. It brings back memories for me," Andrey said.

Rucker met Andrey at a delightful Lego store in North Austin called Bricks and Minifigs, where the store workers were kind enough to send Andrey home with a wide array of Lego characters and parts.

Andrey said he just wants someone to love him and show him attention, no matter what that looks like.

"It wouldn't really matter if it's dad and dad, mom and mom or mom and dad. And I like siblings," Andrey said. "I'm not really picky for families, just as long as I have one that loves me."

To learn more about Andrey or to put in an inquiry to adopt him, visit his page on the Heart Gallery of Central Texas.

All photos by Noelle Westcott.

KVUE launched the Forever Families segment with Partnerships for Children (PFC) in June 2020 to highlight children in the Heart Gallery of Central Texas who need secure and permanent families. Every day, there are nearly 1,000 children waiting to get adopted in Central Texas, according to PFC.

Hannah Rucker on social media: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

KVUE on social media: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube

Editor's note: The children who are in the Heart Gallery program and featured in KVUE's Forever Families segments are children who have had every effort made on their behalf to connect them with family or others in their community to provide options for permanent, adoptive homes. Through no fault of their own, that hasn’t happened yet, and so in partnership with the Department of Family and Protective Services, we collaborate to bring awareness to KVUE viewers about these children in the hopes of finding them permanency before they age out.


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