For 13-year-old Lyden, this weekend's trip to Astoria started with his favorite television show "The Deadliest Catch."

The boy has been in foster care for years, but that hasn't dulled a love for the ocean, adventures and being outside. He desperately wants a family to adopt him, but his biggest dream, he said, is to grow up to be a crab fisherman.

And then the story continued with Kendra Morris-Jacobson, a recruiter for Wendy's Wonderful Kids, who was trying to find a home for the boy. She knows that as an older child, the chances of finding an adoptive home for Lyden are slimmer than for younger kids.

"We lift up every stone trying to find adoptive family sources," Morris-Jacobson said. It's her job to go out of her way for Lyden because he's a child singled out by Wendy's Wonderful Kids, a program that goes to extraordinary efforts to find permanent homes for harder to place children with help from Wendy's restaurants.

While she hadn't run out of options yet, she did find a flier in a Portland coffee shop that might - just might - help Lyden find a way home.

It was for the Pacific Commercial Fishermen's Festival, to be held in Astoria this weekend.

"This is a great opportunity for Lyden, at least for him to attend," she thought. It could be a chance for him to meet many people, maybe even crab fishermen, whose lives and families revolve around the sea, she said.

"We could let the community know that this child would love to be part of a fisherman's family," she said she thought when she saw the poster.

Foster children at this age, even if they do not find permanent homes, are desperately seeking people and experiences to latch onto, so even if Lyden leaves the weekend with a head full of powerful memories, the trip will be a success in her eyes.

"It'll work either way," Morris-Jacobson said.

Morris-Jacobson called Cyndi Mudge of the Astoria Sunday's Market who is organizing the festival, and Mudge offered to make Lyden a VIP for the weekend, so he could meet the crew from fishing vessels and tour boats from the television show.

Mudge was impressed that Lyden was so focused on a career at sea.

"Anytime a kid has a passion for something, even if it seems outrageous, it needs to be fueled," Mudge said. She's hopeful he'll make lifelong connections with people in the industry this weekend, whether they are personal or professional, and that his story could be woven into the fabric of Astoria's history.

"At the end of the day, I'm hoping the experience can help him get through the next very critical years of his life,"?Mudge said.


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