GRAND RAPIDS, Mi. — Everyone needs a home, a family, a place where they can find love and security. Yet there are so many young people who don't have that. That's why we try to introduce you to these special kids and teens, sharing their stories and hopefully making connections in Forever Home. Today we meet Jacob, who can't say a lot about himself, but his smile and laugh speak for themselves.
Jacob is a really happy kid who has some specific interests. He loves music and snacks! We enjoyed a beautiful day exploring the John Ball Zoo, and Jacob kept us all moving. Scott Peterson has worked with the young man for about 5 years and had a lot of wonderful things to say about him. "He has been really excited to see the other kids and to say hi to them or see the animals, he's also you know wanting to move through pretty quickly because there's a lot to see.”
While this 17-year-old has few words to share, he's got smiles and love for days. Scott says, "Jacob has got some pretty significant needs he's got some things that are limiting him cognitively but that doesn't stop him from finding a way to experience joy and kind of let a lot of those of us around him experience joy through him.” While he will come with some challenges, Jacob could thrive in the right environment. "Jacob is surprisingly adaptable given his autism spectrum disorder and some of his limitations, but he would thrive most in a home or an environment that's consistent. You know sometimes it takes a minute for him to learn routines but once he understands kind of what expectations are when he can count on you for how to verbally communicate his needs in a specific environment, he can do really well.”
Scott says, Jacob has plenty of wonderful professionals in his life, but what he really needs is someone willing to open their heart and home to him for good. "If anybody is out there listening who thinks that they have the capacity and time in their life to add something that would be a challenge but also incredibly rewarding I think Jacob is your guy because you know, once you experience some of his love and joy in your life, you're going to want more and more.”
If you want to learn more about adoption, becoming a foster parent, or even just a mentor for Jacob, head to please head to https://orchards.org/.