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 was young...13 years old... just a kid. I’m not sure what even compelled me to click on his profile. I a watched video interview with him as well as read about him in his limited profile. He had dreams just like any child... but his depended so much on whether he’d have a family one day or not. He said he wanted a family with a mom and dad, brothers and sisters, “and a baby... I don’t care what kind of baby... just a baby. It can be a boy or a girl.” He said he wanted siblings because he wanted to teach them how to play together. “How to play nicely... not just fight.”
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.”