Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Foster Care Gave Us a Gift

Anderson's new daytime talk show is filled with many different topics from stories/interviews of stars to everyday people. I had the pleasure of being in the audience for one of those when a family came on and shared their wonderful story of how they opened up their home to many children when they became a foster family. And in some cases, even adopted some of the kids as well. They have become an inspiration to their neighborhood with many families opening their doors to children as well. 


According to childwelfare.gov, as of two years ago, there were half a million children in the foster care system in the U.S. - all waiting for placement in a loving home. Those numbers break my heart as those kids are caught in an environment (due to their parents) that they must be pulled out of and put somewhere else. 


Back in the 80s, my parents decided to become a foster family and spoke to my sister and I about it. We took in three different boys and at first...I'll admit it was hard on me as I had always been the baby of the family. But I quickly grew to enjoying having younger boys around to play with. We got one when he was not quite two years old. He couldn't speak well (because we quickly learned he couldn't hear and needed tubes in his ears) and the little guy had a temper that was actually pretty darn cute. Something unusual happened in that situation - as people were told back then that most foster children end back up with their parents (the other two had). But this little boy entered the adoption system and the case worker told my parents it was happening. He had lived with us for over a year and my parents came to my sister and I about us adopting. At that point, he was my little brother and there was no other answer: he was our family and we had to adopt. And we did. 


Donovan visiting school in Texas.
Though ten years separate us and I moved away when he was only 8 years old, I could not be more proud of him if he were my flesh and blood. He grew up to be an incredible man who is now serving his country on a 2nd tour of duty overseas and was recently promoted to a Sergeant in the army. Foster care and adoption seemed to do 'right' by him. I only hope there are many more children just like him that get that chance to go on in life to show how productive they can be. Thank you to the loving family that Anderson Cooper introduced us to and thank you to my little brother for making me a proud big brother. 


Now I just can't wait for him to return from Afghanistan. 

2 comments:

  1. That is such an inspiration! (But FYI - I can't see the picture)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks, Sabrina! Not sure why you can't see it. They are both showing up there. Maybe a refresh?

    ReplyDelete