This is the best time of year for 15-year-old Maurice. Not because it is the holiday season. Because it is football season.

“Maurice is obsessed with anything football related,” says James Patton, a youth advocate with Christian Family Care. “He loves to throw a football and talk about football all day."

Maurice says he likes to play quarterback, wide receiver, linebacker and free safety. His favorite teams are the Cincinnati Bengals and the Arizona Cardinals.

Maurice put other athletic skills on display during an afternoon at the cavernous Phoenix Rock Gym in Tempe where he climbed about three stories off of the ground. It was Maurice’s first time rock climbing, but with the guidance and goading of owner Paul Diefenderfer, Maurice is able to reach the top of the wall not once, but twice.

“I climbed about 30 feet high,” Maurice says with a smile.

The move to high school is a big step for Maurice, Patton says, adding “he is improving in his school work.”

While Maurice jokes that his favorite subject is PE, he says he also likes science.

When not in school or playing football, Maurice likes to play games on his iPad and eat Chinese food. He also enjoys music.

“I like Drake,” he says.

Patton says Maurice would thrive in a forever family with two parents experienced with children with special needs. It would be best if Maurice was an only child or the youngest child, Patton adds.

Watch the stories of children in foster care waiting on forever families each week on the Wednesday’s Child segment between 5-6 a.m. on 12 Today.

You can also view previously aired stories at For more information on children eligible for adoption, call Aid to Adoption of Special Kids (AASK) at 602-930-4900, or visit