I watched the Wednesday’s Child videos of Dion and Devon again. I’m not sure how many times I’ve seen these videos. Three times? Five times? Ten? I’ve lost count. Each time though, I seem to find some new tears to shed. (Yes, I’m a sensitive type guy). I am both saddened by their situations and touched by their hope and resiliency. I am moved to act but held back by pragmatism.
Their stories in brief…Dion is a 17 year-old, quiet spoken kid. At 17, he is close to aging out of the foster care system. Despite his age and the likely chance that his next birthday and exit from foster care are coming soon, Dion still has hopes for an adoptive family. He loves bowling and trying new things. Dion holds on to the hope that he will have a permanent, loving home where he doesn’t have to worry about being treated poorly. Devon’s story is similar. He’s a thirteen year old who loves gymnastics and wants to be a veterinarian when he grows up. Five years ago, he was removed from his home, because his family was unable to care for him. He too wants love, care and permanency. He believes that all children should have parents “so they won’t feel worthless.”
So why do I keep watching these videos? On some level, I want to help Dion and Devon and kids like them. Both Juan and I would love to open up our home and provide children, young and old, with the things that they deserve – love, consideration, respect, support, encouragement, and guidance. Knowing that there are children out there who grow into adulthood with no permanent families is a difficult thing for us. After being together almost six years, we know our hearts and our home are more than big enough to share with others in need.
Juan and I can also be pragmatists. Adoption is no small feat, regardless of the age of the child, but particularly in the case of older children. Many have been through things I can not imagine or understand. Most will require a high level of commitment, perseverance, and patience during those first few days, weeks, and months. And maybe even beyond. We aren’t quite ready for that. We know we have the capacity to handle all kinds of situations at one time, but our first priority is a baby. We’ll have our hands more than full with the little one. Juan and I also want to fully experience parenting a baby, something we may get to do only once.
What does all this mean for me right now? Hell if I know. The future is no more foreseeable at the age of 42 than it was at 22. Little about my current life is something I expected. Three dogs? Baltimore? A career change? Grad school? Social Work? A baby??
At this point, I just need to remain open to new opportunities, change, and an unpredictable future. Who knows? Maybe we’ll end up being one of those families with 15 adopted kids, 4 dogs, and a 10-acre farm.
(By the way, there are so many stories out there like Dion’s and Devon’s. Do a search on Adopt Us Kids and you’ll find hundreds of kids all looking for loving families. Maybe there’s room in your heart and home for one?)