Have a Heart: Meet Joey

Published: Feb. 1, 2019 at 9:40 AM PST
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Meet Joey, a 14-year-old young man who has a big passion for superheroes. He especially loves Marvel films and when asked if he would use his powers for good or evil, well, it gives you the perfect idea of his personality.

"Uh, ev... uh, good!"

He almost said evil, but caught himself. After a few seconds of thought, he says he'd like to be an antihero, like Dead Pool.

His spunk is matched by how big a heart he has.

"I have a heart with people with special needs," he said. "And when I hear somebody making fun of them it ticks me off."

Just like the superheroes he loves, Joey says he likes to stand up for people when he sees them getting bullied. That kind of attitude is what Joey's foster dad says makes him so special.

Mike Stocking has been Joey’s foster parent for six years, and says he is a young man who is ready to take on the world.

"It’s been a great experience with that little guy," he said. "He knows what direction he wants to go in life. He’s very loving and open. A very honest little boy."

High praise, so some may wonder why Stocking doesn't adopt Joey. For that, he has a simple explanation.

"I'm old," Sprinkle joked. "I’m old and Joey needs to have a younger family that will be with him for a very long period of time."

He says the right parents will help Joey achieve great things.

"Joey’s always had, he’s always known who he was," Sprinkle said. "Very strong opinion about who he is and who he wants to be. Not insecure at all."

That confidence also helps Joey stay resilient. Joey has been down the adoption path before. While it didn’t work out, it hasn’t jaded him.

"I’m hopeful and guaranteed that somebody I find will be good," he said. "Joey was hurt. He was very hurt at that time. Did he test the adoptive family? Yes he did. And he realizes he pushed too hard. But really what he was looking for is a family that will love him no matter what."

Joey says he just wants somebody who will be there, won’t quit on him, and will take him on adventures, like camping or fishing.

"I’ve never actually been in a tent and camped," he said.

It’s always hard taking an older child in, but Joey’s foster dad has a message to anyone willing to adopt him.

"It would be the best experience they could have in life," he said. "Once Joey trusts, he trusts forever and he loves 100%."

To learn more about adopting Joey,