WEDNESDAY'S CHILD

Wednesday’s Child: 17-year-old Austin searches for a family to help him in adulthood

Jan 17, 2024, 2:04 PM | Updated: 3:35 pm

ST. GEORGE —  At Comics Plus in St. George, exciting stories are told through colorful illustrations, pop culture collectibles, and trading cards. It’s an environment that 17-year-old Austin loves because of his passion for Mario, Minecraft, Marvel Comics, and Pokémon.

“I like to play, read, watch TV, and play on my Nintendo,” Austin said.

When you first get to know Austin, he’ll happily tell you about what he enjoys, like sausage pizza and snack foods.

“Cookies, chocolate, and Mountain Dew,” he said. “I have a sugar addiction, but I’m working on that. I’m mostly funny, and I’m mostly hungry.”

But knowing what makes Austin tick takes more time and effort.

“The one-on-one is really important for him, just sitting and connecting with him,” said Nicki Bidlack, Austin’s caseworker for the state.

Bidlack has worked with Austin since he entered foster care eight years ago. She describes Austin as an amazing kid who has displayed resilience.

“Even through everything he’s been through, he’s still so caring and loving,” Bidlack said.

Bidlack says Austin has a loveable personality, and she has enjoyed working with him over the years. She says his desire to learn shines through some of his intellectual delays.

“He can take care of himself, he’s learned a lot of skills, self-care, cooking, things like that, but there is everyday care that he needs somebody to help support him,” Bidlack said.

In just a few months Austin will turn 18, Bidlack says what he needs is someone to help him make good decisions as he becomes an adult.

“He’s a very smart kid. I could see him working and having a job, and so that is something he would need that support on,” Bidlack said.

For Austin, finding that supportive parent or guardian is critical. He has two siblings who have already been adopted, and he desires the same. He hopes to find a family that will support his relationship with his siblings.

“I want nice, caring people, that feed me and do all these nice things for me,” Austin said.

“He really deserves happiness and a family that is willing to be there for him all the time,” Bidlack added.

To learn more about Austin, please contact Raise the Future at 801-265-0444 or visit their website, www.raisethefuture.org.

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Wednesday’s Child: 17-year-old Austin searches for a family to help him in adulthood