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Forever Families: This 12-year-old loves soccer and would love to find a family

Ryan is a child in the local foster care system who is looking for an adoptive family.

AUSTIN, Texas — For some, kicking a soccer ball might just be a pastime or a fun way to stay in shape. But for 12-year-old Ryan, "el fútbol es vida!" Soccer is life. 

"I love this sport just because it reminds me of my brother, and it's just something that needs to bring back the good memories," Ryan said. 

Ryan hasn't seen his biological brother in several years, since he entered the Texas foster care system. When he plays soccer, it makes him feel connected to others, creating a family along the way.

"If I was on a soccer team, that's going to be my family," Ryan said.

Ryan was able to spend the day at Q2 Stadium kicking the ball around with Austin FC goalie Brad Stuver.

Stuver said soccer also makes him think of his own family and, if it wasn't for his brother, he wouldn't be the goalkeeper he is today. 

"Him and his friends threw me in [the] goal and just kept kicking balls at me. That's why I'm a goalkeeper. But I didn't mind growing up because that was the only way I could play with them," Stuver said. 

Stuver said the Austin FC team is a unique family of its own.

"In soccer, we get to create our family on the field every day," Stuver said.

As for Ryan, he loves writing about the things he's gone through and how he's feeling. 

"It feels good to let it all out and not keep it in," Ryan said.

He loves camping, being outside, playing soccer, listening to music and fashion. 

"Also just being good to people. I like to be nice," Ryan said.

Ryan also has an ultimate dream of becoming an Austin FC player someday.

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

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.

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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.

MORE FOREVER FAMILIES STORIES:

This support group helps grandparents who have stepped up to keep kids out of Texas foster care

This Travis County judge presides over a historic courtroom. She's also making history herself

Forever Families: Central Texas children in foster care are in need of mentors

Meet the Austin photographer using her work to get foster children adopted