NORTHWEST ARKANSAS (KNWA/KFTA) — For nearly the last decade, 14-year-old Jackson has lived in upwards of 30 foster homes.
“Each home you have to deal with new rules, new parents, people you don’t even know if they’re going to be nice or not,” Jackson said.
Financial hardship led to him being removed from his biological home and placed into the state’s care.
Early on there were points when he ended back in his parent’s custody, but he’s spent the majority of the last 10 years in foster care.
“He’s had a hard life in foster care, out of foster care, pretty much his whole life,” said Brenna McClure, Jackson’s adoption specialist with the state Division of Children and Family Services.
For the longest time, Jackson hoped he’d be reunited with his birth family. He has come to realize that that’s not an option.
“I never really wanted to be adopted in the first place but at the same time I know it’s best for me,” Jackson continued, “It’s kind of hard to let that go and adapt to a new family.”
The almost 15-year-old is the middle of five kids. His two older siblings and two younger siblings have all been adopted.
“It makes me feel like why do I have to go through all this and not them,” he said.
There are multiple times when Jackson was almost adopted, but his temper has led potential parents to change their minds.
“Sometimes I let my anger get the best of me, but I’m working on that so I’m here for redemption,” Jackson said.
McClure said sometimes Jackson gets physical when angry, so he needs a family that’s okay with things being broken. She said he typically lashes out against objects, not people.
A family that can help him deal with his anger issues is ideal, according to McClure. As is a potential parents who stick through the tough times with him and embrace him for who he is.
Jackson was born without muscle in his right eye and the eye is lazy. He said he has to have surgery every three years to fix it.
“If people ask me what it is. I just tell them well, my eye’s not waking up its just tired,” he said.
When asked what would make all the trauma he’s endured worth it, Jackson said, “if I found a family that wouldn’t do anything to ever hurt me.”
He’s looking for parents who’ll let him have contact with his four siblings. Jackson said his siblings’ adoptive families have welcomed him into their homes, and he wants a family that’ll do the same.
“He just wants somebody that’s going to stick in there with him, that’s going to be very active in his life and not give up on him and he needs a family like that,” McClure said.
Jackson loves to spend time outside, ride bikes, swim, watch TV, go to arcades and describes himself as a “foodie.”
He has dreams of one day becoming a trucker, mechanic or heavy machinery operator.
Jackson’s eligible for adoption through DCFS. If you’re interested in learning more about him, visit Project Zero’s website.