I Want to Start a Movement: Loving Family for Everyone
Last week we saw one of the most important achievements of our organization and of our community. A child was adopted. He is not ordinary child. He came into the world with serious medical challenges. He arrived at one of our homes as an infant. The medical world calls these babies technology dependent. In his case, it meant that he needed a ventilator to breathe.
Our goal from day one for these babies is to get them home. Most will go home within 6 to 36 months. Imagine for a minute the courage of the family who learns about how to support their child’s need for a ventilator, maybe a feeding tube, and maybe a customized wheelchair. Imagine making room for all the equipment. Imagine the worry about whether the equipment will work. Think about the leap of faith someone must take to believe that they can do all that this tiny person requires. It is hard not to admire the power of that love and devotion.
In this case, this boy did not go home. His family was not able to cope and eventually the court took away the parental rights. He became eligible for adoption. We worked diligently to find him a family. He did not ask for anything special, he just wanted to belong. Now he does. At the age of 14, following a short time with a family as their foster child, he is an official family member. He has a mom, who met him when she was his teacher, a dad, two sisters, and two dogs.
We have a great picture of him walking the dogs from his wheelchair. It may seem like a small task, but to do that as part of a family was a big deal. To grow up surrounded by positive expectations, someone who has your back, someone to be there when you make your way in the world is what family is all about. It is not so much about biology as it is about commitment and love.
To all the staff that got him this far, thanks. To his advocate who made sure he would be safe and loved, thanks. To the judge who oversaw the last step of the process, thanks. To Nancy Thaler and Cathy Utz, who helped us understand and navigate the steps the steps toward his adoption, we thank you.
You cannot have too much love, and you cannot imagine how delighted we are that he is finally home.