Yesterday I found myself online looking at profiles of children who are open for adoption in the state I live in. I’m looking at pictures, reading descriptions, and watching video clips. Some stood out to me more than others, which I think is probably normal. But there was one boy that impacted me in a special way.
He made such a plea for a family. It sounded almost like a young man trying to sell himself for a job that so many people were applying for and the odds were against him. “I’m a hard worker,” he shared. “But... sometimes I make mistakes... but I really am a good kid! I just really really want a family to adopt me.” He pointed out that he has a lot of potential to make his forever family proud. He loves basketball and Lego. He wants to be a scientist. He wants to visit Florida and swim with dolphins. He has huge dreams, but his biggest dream is to be part of a family. He so much wants to “just do family stuff.”
I feel like there was so much he was saying between the lines. So much of his story that I heard. I didn’t have to read that he has needed help learning to cope with his feelings to know that was true. I didn’t need to read that he needs a home with structure, reliability, and patience to know that was true. I didn’t need to read how important it was for his future parents to focus on his strengths to know that was true. I read his profile and saw a child who had been hurt. I saw a child who just wanted to be loved... who just wanted to be a child.
Mitch came into the room as I was looking at his profile and I closed it and said, “Ugh! I don’t know why I do this to myself!” He asked what I had been looking at. I said, “Waiting children profiles... this boy... he just wants a family so badly...”. That’s all the words I could get out and the tears came. I just started sobbing.
Maybe because deep down we have all experienced wanting to belong. Wanting to be a part of a family. Many of us have experienced being a part of a loving family... many have experienced being part of a different kind of family... and some... no family experience at all. I grew up in a dysfunctional home... but I knew my mom wanted me. I knew my mom would fight for me. I knew she loved me. At the end of the day, I had a family to go home to... always.
You don’t have to have a degree in psychology to love. There are so many homes empty of children, but full of love. It doesn’t matter what a person’s background is... on occasion every person is difficult to love... but everyone, regardless of their difficulties, needs love and wants love. I really encourage you to just look at a waiting child list... read their profiles... open your heart and mind to the idea of inviting a child into your home. Commit to love.
I have big dreams. But a lot of my dreams are dependent on me. On what I decide to do or strive for in my future. So many kids have one big dream... and its dependent on others: they want to be called a son or a daughter. They want someone to call mom and someone to call dad. That never had to be a dream for me... because it was a reality. I hope to soon make these dreams a reality for my future kids. To be able to say “you are my son” or “you are my daughter.” “You belong here.”