14-year-old Jacob is chasing his dreams, as fast as a cop chases down a bad guy.
“I want to be a police officer,” Jacob said. “I want to get all of those bad people out of the world.”
Officer Jacob Boomgaarden with the Springfield Police Department gave Jacob a tour of the police academy to see what it takes to protect and serve. Jacob knows there’s no better way to learn than to ask questions.
“Did you have a favorite part of the tour?” reporter Heather Lewis asked.
“My favorite part is learning,” Jacob answered. “Basically, I was learning a lot of things that most people don’t get to see or learn, you know?”
He said he learned it takes a lot of training to protect the streets of Springfield.
“It’s no wonder police officers are so smart,” he said laughing.
Jacob is looking forward to his future. His past has been tough.
“I’ve had a hard life,” Jacob said. “I’ve lost parents at the age of six. Was born, never seen my parents, never got a letter, never got a phone call. Things like that. To find a family, it kind of means that, maybe I could get out of state custody and have more abilities.”
Jacob would like a family who will nurture his abilities and encourage him to pursue his passions.
“An adopted family would be a dream come true because I’ve been wanting to be adopted ever since I was six,” Jacob said. “I’ve wanted to get a life. I’ve wanted to make something out of myself. Be somebody who’s a good person. I just want to be a good person.”
According to the Missouri Department of Social Services, there are more than 13,000 children in foster care in the state, with about 1,200 up for adoption. There are nearly 100 kids waiting for a place to call home in Greene County alone.
There is always a need for foster homes, especially for children ages six and older. Recruiting families for older children can be more challenging than finding a place for an infant.
Every family will need to be licensed before more information can be shared with them about a specific child.
Terry Saddler, with the Missouri Department of Social Services, answers all foster and adoptive licensing questions. You can reach her at (417) 895-7831. You can also look at frequently asked questions on the Missouri Department of Social Services website.