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Forever Families: Erik

Erik is in the 6th grade and says he loves school. He lives in a boy's home with twenty-four other kids in his dorm. (CBS Austin)

Feeling at home with the horses. 12-year-old Erik spent an afternoon at Healing with Horses Ranch in Manor and it was an experience he'll never forget.

"What's your biggest dream?" CBS Austin Reporter Lindsay Liepman asked Erik. "My biggest dream is to work here," said Erik who got a chance to groom the horses and take them for a walk.

Erik is in the 6th grade and says he loves school. He lives in a boy's home with twenty-four other kids in his dorm. "We get to go shopping. We get to go skating. We get to go bowling," he said.

Erik likes math and is on the Honor Roll. But far from the classroom, out in the country, is where his heart feels at home.

"Hi Angel," he said to a horse at the Healing with Horses Ranch. "Oh, I love you," he tells the horse.

Patty D'Andrea founded Healing with Horses Ranch. She says you don't have to "fake it 'til you make it" out here.

"Are you starting to relax when you're brushing her," Patty asked Erik as he groomed Angel. "Yes ma'am. A lot," said Erik with a smile.

"Remember the last time you felt this calm?" she asked Erik. "Yes ma'am. When I was 7. A long time ago," he said. "I was out in the woods on a nature walk with my mom and two brothers."

Patty encourages Erik to always remember the good times.

"He's very ready to be adopted. He's not closed off. He wants that family," said Bonnie Rushing, Erik's adoptive case worker.

Rushing says two failed adoptions haven't erased Erik's hope. "I forgave them," said Erik. "But it's hard," said Liepman. Erik nods his head yes.

"I would love for him to find a family that is open to adopting him and is going to last forever so he has that support system," said Rushing.

It's what Erik deeply wants too. "Being with a family that loves me," he said.

Erik is featured in The Heart Gallery of Central Texas, a program of Partnerships for Children. You can read his BIO and watch CBS Austin's "Forever Families" every Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.

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