ARKANSAS (KNWA/KFTA) — “Too big of a chair for the queen,” Tjay said as she hopped up to sit at the KNWA anchor desk.
While she sat there, she scrolled through the teleprompter and practiced reading the different stories that would be on the night’s news.
When she stumbled over a story that hadn’t yet been thoroughly spellchecked, she let out a laugh that echoed through the entire studio.
Her ability to command attention anywhere is unmatched with her big personality and even bigger smile.
“I knew she would love seeing herself on the big screen, but it was so cool to watch her just get excited about it,” said Abby Hutchins, Tjay’s adoption specialist with the Division of Children and Family Services.
Tjay has lived in foster care in Arkansas for about six years, going in when she was just five years old.
“She has been through more than anyone should ever have to. There is lots of domestic violence, lots of physical abuse,” Abby continued. “She’s had a rough go of it, just moving from place to place, being separated from her biological family, and that trauma brings a lot of struggles with peers or struggles with some physical aggression that she’s still working through.”
Being removed from the same home as her brother, sister and biological parents along with the instability of moving to different foster homes, has made Tjay to feel like she has “really nobody there.”
You would never know from spending time with her that she feels that way, though. At first when you meet her, she comes off as shy, but within moments, she warms up and starts to open up.
Hutchins referred to her as spunky and full of personality. “Vibrant is such a good word to describe her. She keeps things interesting and lively. There’s never a dull moment with her.”
The 11-year-old is full of confidence and loves to be the center of attention. She’s eligible for adoption through DCFS.
“[I want] really kind parents to the point where they won’t keep me from being myself, wearing makeup, doing this is basically me,” she said as she gestured to her curled hair, face full of makeup and the dress she specifically changed into to wear to the news studio.
Tjay has dreams of living in Los Angeles one day as a model or movie star.
Before she gets there, she needs to find a family. Hutchins said she would do best in a home where there aren’t any other kids, which is exactly what Tjay wants.
“I want to be the only child. I want to have a dog. I want young parents so that we can travel,” she continued. “I want parents that celebrate birthdays, that go Halloween hunting, and that go hunting in hunting season.”
She’s in the fifth grade. Her favorite subject is math, and she loves to draw and listen to rap music.