Why not me? Why can't I have a family? Two questions foster children ask frequently.
And the older the child, the longer they wait for someone to adopt them. But 13-year-old Jason doesn't believe that will happen to him. He is sweet and very optimistic about his future.
"When I grow up, I want to have a pancake business. I want to have this thing called a 'Peppermint Palace,'" said Jason during an interview last February at Cindi's Deli in Dallas.
Jason already has a sweet approach to life.
"Treat people how you want to be treated," he said, referring to the Golden Rule.
He's cooked up a plan to become a chef and part-time comedian in the future.
"When I'm in my bedroom I like to think about jokes. I'm happy," he said about his sunny disposition.
Telling jokes and making people laugh is healing.
"Anxiety, a little bit of depression. It's alright."
Jason is talking about how he feels sometimes when his days aren't so sunny. The best medicine is when he gets to see his biological sister, who just aged out of foster care without getting adopted.
"I like to hang out with my favorite sister, cuz [sic] she's amazing and I love her," he said.
What Jason has been through in life, he wouldn't wish on his worst enemy.
"My dad did bad stuff to me, and my mom did bad stuff to me," he said while sending a message to his biological grandmother.
"I miss you to death. I really hope I see you in the future. I'm sorry I left the way I did," he said, hoping she reads this story.
Because of his past of abuse and neglect, Jason treats himself right.
"I love me. That's what makes me so kindhearted, so sweet and loving."
And he shares the love.
During the interview, he made his caseworker cry tears of joy when he called her out for being even more cool and amazing than he is.
Whether he is praising his caseworker or teachers, Jason tries to lift everyone around him.
"I have two awesome teachers, they're like so awesome. One teacher, her name is Miss Davis. She's the coolest, sweetest person," he said about the teachers at school, who help him through the good times and the bad.
Jason is a grateful child. He knows he has protection.
"I believe in my God. Jesus and his dad. I'm a Christian," he said.
This is why Jason believes his forever family is right around the corner.
"I don't care if there's two dads, two moms, one dad or one mom. As long as they're sweet people, I'm good."
All you have to add is love and it's the perfect recipe for the "Peppermint Palace" Jason is waiting for.
For more information on Jason, please send all approved home studies to La Queena Warren at LaQueena.Warren@dfps.texas.gov.
Please remember to include Jason's name within the subject line. If you're not licensed, please visit adoptchildren.org to find out more information on how to become licensed to foster and/or adopt or contact LaQueena Warren at 817-304-1272.