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'I love making people smile.' Austin teen pleads with community to help her get adopted

[Sept. 24, 2020: Tori Larned]

AUSTIN, Texas — At 8 a.m. on a Friday morning, ahead of an interview that would give families across Texas a chance to know the real her, Natasha threw on her dark floral dress, jean jacket, wedges and braided her hair. She was ready for a big day.

Style is the 16-year-old's outlet. It is her way of expressing who she truly is – a vibrant, creative and hopeful girl who just wants to get adopted by a loving family more than anything.

"I've been in poverty and I've been poor before all those things, and I just want not the luxuries in life, but more than anything I just wish for them to love me," Natasha told KVUE's Tori Larned during their filming of Forever Families. "More than anything I want someone to love me."

Knowing the world is her oyster, Natasha's dreams extend far and wide.

She dreams of being a model and actress, just like Brooklyn Decker, who joined in on the interview.

"I want that for you," Decker told Natasha about following her passion. "You deserve the luxuries of life. You deserve someone to love you unconditionally."

If Natasha is not a model, she said a tough life experience motivated her to think about being a paramedic.

Growing up under the care of Child Protective Services (CPS) has not been easy for her. Some moments are great, and others can be hard, she shared. One of those darker moments led to her encounter with a paramedic, where she found the positive.

"She was very kind to me and I didn't know what was happening," she said. "I want to be somebody who can impact somebody going through something."

Despite the hard times, Natasha is determined to stay positive. She loves smiling and making others smile around her.

"I am very goofy. I might seem very serious, and polite and kind, but I can be very goofy. I love making people smile because I see both of y'all smiling and it makes my heart warmer," Natasha told Larned and Decker during the interview.

She is also a very outgoing young girl who loves playing basketball, volleyball, running track, cheering and sometimes dancing.

Natasha shines during the 100m hurdle races, a moment of connection between her and Decker, who cheered and ran track in high school.

On top of a loving family, Natasha said she wants to be an only child with a family who can focus on giving her the support she needs and wants. She would love for her family to enjoy spending time outdoors and playing sports.

"When I look at what you want to do, you want to be a caretaker so it seems you love to give love yourself and you are so worthy of it and I know it is going to happen for you," said Decker.

To learn more about Natasha or send an inquiry to adopt, visit her page on the Heart Gallery of Central Texas.

KVUE launched the Forever Families segment with Partnerships for Children (PFC) in June 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.

This Brighter Side of News post courtesy of KVUE ABC.


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