AUSTIN, Texas — Ashley is 15 years old and has been in Texas foster care since she was seven. She says at first, it was very overwhelming and hard to come to grips with her new reality.
"Being able to cope with the past, it's kind of easy now, but back then, it wasn't. Back then, I used to have a lot of problems with things I didn't know how to accept," Ashley said. "I had a lot of pain and grief, feeling like it was my fault. But it wasn't."
Ashley dreams of working in the beauty industry one day and was able to spend the day with local makeup artist Crystal Gutierrez, who spent some quality time showing her the tricks of the trade.
"When I get older, I want to do cosmetology. I want to do hair and makeup and nails," Ashley said.
She said when she thinks about her future, she thinks about having a family.
"I want a mom and a dad and an older sibling and a younger sibling," Ashley said.
Ashley just started her first year of high school and said she would really like to feel love and support while she moves along.
"I just want someone to be there for me and help me through the hard times and someone to let me know like, 'Hey, you're not alone.' You know? " Ashley said.
To learn more about Ashley or to put in an inquiry to adopt her, visit her page on the Heart Gallery of Central Texas.
KVUE launched the Forever Families segment with Partnerships for Children (PFC) in June 2020 to highlight children in the Heart Gallery of Central Texas who need secure and permanent families. Every day, there are nearly 1,000 children waiting to get adopted in Central Texas, according to PFC.
Editor's note: The children who are in the Heart Gallery program and featured in KVUE's Forever Families segments are children who have had every effort made on their behalf to connect them with family or others in their community to provide options for permanent, adoptive homes. Through no fault of their own, that hasn’t happened yet, and so in partnership with the Department of Family and Protective Services, we collaborate to bring awareness to KVUE viewers about these children in the hopes of finding them permanency before they age out.