Have a Heart: Meet Jacob

RENO, Nev. (KOLO) He's shy at first, but break through that barrier and you'll find a boy filled with love and jokes.

11-year-old Jacob is quiet when you first meet him. His foster mom Kina Valele says that's his way of sizing up people and seeing how they will treat him.

"Despite the shell Jacob just needs to feel like if he stays quiet it's not the end of the world," she said. "If he makes a mistake it's not the end of the world."

But once those walls come down, it's hard not to love Jacob.

"Everyone who comes in contact with Jacob, they melt," Valele said. "Jacob just has this thing about him. He's just cute. He's just this shy, cute kid, but underneath it all he's just a kid. He loves. He just wants to be loved. When he loves he loves hard and it doesn't stop it."

Jacob loves football, drawing and cooking. He says he likes to do things with his hands because it helps him work through his emotions. His favorite food? Pepperoni pizza.

He would also love to be a big brother.

Valele has been Jacob's foster mom for several years, in fact he was her first foster child. She says any family would be lucky to have him, but has a very specific reason why she is not adopting him. She says her home is better suiting to help the kids transition from foster care to a permanent family.

"When they come to us, they come hard and they come dark," she said. "And everything is just like screw it. I'm gonna make your life hard. And we're just like, nah, it's okay; bring it. We feel like there are more kids out there that need my love and quirkiness. And I feel like Jacob is ready to go."

She believes he's ready to go to a family that is full of encouragement. For Jacob, the perfect dad is someone who is loving and caring. He wants a mom who will give him a lot of hugs.

If you're interested in adopting Jacob, click here.