A 10-year-old boy in foster care is asking you to consider adopting him. Tyrene has been without a mom or dad for years now and bravely shared his story in this week's The New Family Tree.
Flipping through the pages of a sports history book, Tyrene can get quietly lost in other people's stories. "This is an old timey Ferrari," Tyrene proudly pointed out on the page.
But put a basketball in his hands - and this shy introvert comes alive! Whether he is playing against himself or outshooting a rusty news reporter, Tyrene is all in.
All in is also a theme off the courts for this child, willing to talk about the pain that comes with having no one to call mom or dad and the separation from his three older siblings. "How has that been for you," I asked. "Awful," said Tyrene.
"Do you miss them?" I responded. All Tyrene could do was nod his head.
As an older, male, African-American child, Tyrene falls into a "hard to place" category. It is heart-breaking for case workers with the Department of Children & Family Services to watch months pass without one adoption inquiry. "It hurts," said Kara Ortego, a DCFS child welfare specialist handling Tyrene's case. "You know what the children want and you know that they just want to be loved and you just wish that it would happen quicker for them to have the ultimate goal. They want to be part of a family."
Tyrene is eager to please and there is no doubt he will be a blessing to his future family. I asked Tyrene what type of family he would like to have. "Any parents," he said. "Any parents?" I asked, "you're not picky?"
Again, this sweet, quiet child just let me know his answer through a shake of his head.
Tyrene says he does not care if his parents are black or white, city-dwellers or country folk. He just wants to be someone's son and share something he has not had for a long time. "I'd like to have family time," he said.
Until that day comes, Tyrene lives with his foster parents who say he has a love for God, playing outside and definitely basketball. "He has a sweet, loving personality," said Tyrene's foster dad, Andrew Gallien, Jr. "He's an obedient kid. He learns how to do things, you don't have to tell him twice. He just wants to know that he's loved."
Tyrene understands that a family would be giving a lot to adopt him. So I asked him this, "What would you say you could give them?" Tyrene's response was pure and simple: "Thanks."
The total adoption fee for Tyrene would likely cost under $500. Call the Department of Children & Family Services to make an inquiry at 337-491-2470.