Each series installment will introduce you to another aspect of fostering and adoption. Together we will meet foster youth, hear from culturally competent foster and adoption agency leaders, chat with cast members from the ABC Family television series "The Fosters," and celebrate LGBT parents and the successful and healthy families they create across the United States.
For about six months, I kept the secret from my family and most friends. But this was the day. The kind of late autumn Saturday afternoon in Southern California where you can still drive with your sunroof open and windows down, knowing that family and friends back in the northeast were certainly not enjoying the same luxury. Everything was perfect and I was in a celebratory mood. I had just finished my eighth full day of training and was driving home with the paper certificate required to move on to the next step. I could keep the secret no longer. I rolled up the car windows, hit redial, and pressed the flip phone to my ear.
"Nah," I replied. "We don't usually get their games out Brandon Pettigrew Limited Jersey here. But I couldn't have watched the game anyhow. I was in class all day. Have been every Saturday for weeks."
"What kind of class?" she asked.
"Well, I haven't wanted to say anything until I got this far enough along," I confessed. "I've wanted to surprise you."
"Surprise me?" my mother hesitated. "Surprise me with what?"
This was one of those moments that I had been imagining and reimagining for years. I had pictured the moment to involve laughter and joy. My mom Chris Houston Elite Jersey and I would congratulate one another. But now the moment was real.
"I wanted to wait until I was well on my way," I spoke loudly over the wind from the open sunroof. "Well, remember when I told you I was gay, that you said how disappointed you were that I would never give you grandchildren, right?"
"I'm talking about," I answered, "that I just finished classes with the County and I'm about to get certified and licensed. I've been thinking about it for years, and I'm well on my way now."
There Stephen Tulloch Jersey Youth was silence on the phone so I filled it.
"Mom, I'm going to adopt! You are going to be grandma www.lionsnflofficialonline.com/lions-chris-houston-jersey-c-20.html again!"
Still silence. www.lionsnflofficialonline.com/lions-stephen-tulloch-jersey-c-27.html This time, I checked my phone to make sure that we were still connected. We hadn't lost the signal. I put the phone back to my ear.
"Hello," I asked. "Mom, are you there? Did you hear me?"
That phone call with my mother took place over eight years ago. But every word stuck with me. The entire story comes down to two things: misperceptions and misinformation. On a daily basis, I am fueled to make sure the organization is a success so that we can continue to erase misperceptions and misinformation with efforts to educate, inform, and encourage for the benefit of all the children in foster care and for all families, especially those parents who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT). I have yet to hear of an instance when a child asked to be put in to the foster system. Kids don't ask to be abused, rejected, neglected, or abandoned. So it angers me to hear people say that foster kids are too damaged or too old to be adopted. Time and again, history has shown that, regardless of age, humans are resilient and people flourish in stable and loving environments.
Similarly to foster children, a large percentage of LGBT people have also experienced rejection and hurt in their own lives. For some of us, the message is sometimes subtle and recurring. For others of us, the rejection is or was painful. Throughout life, we are often reminded that we are different and sometimes unequal. But it is this experience of rejection that I believe enables some LGBT people to make outstanding foster and adoptive parents. As a community, most LGBT people can understand what it is to be rejected and how it feels. I believe this experience makes us more empathic as parents for children who have experienced a rejection of their own. For this reason, we have a skill and ability like few others to relate to foster children and youth and help them heal, develop, and grow to their fullest potential.
Today, I have two beautiful, healthy, and considerate children who have been with me for eight years. About a year after I finalized their adoption, my partner Jared moved in and he coparents with me. Our kids' school is www.lionsnflofficialonline.com/lions-brandon-pettigrew-jersey-c-22.html welcoming to our family and the administrative team describes our children as happy and well adjusted. Their standardized state test scores have consistently shown them to be at the top percentages of California kids their ages. Jared and I love our kids. To each of us, there is no question. We are a family.
I still call my mother several days out of each week. nowadays?"
"I don't know," I said. "I'm hoping we win. But who knows how it will go."
"I will tell you one thing," my mother said with a defiant tone. "All anyone would need is to see the great job that you and Jared are doing with those two kids of yours. If they knew how far your kids have come and how well they are doing with you, no one in their right mind could question what is right and what is wrong."
In that moment, I was moved and speechless. Finally, the moment I had anticipated arrived and it took me by complete surprise. Right then, I realized that no matter how grown up a kid is, it is always powerful to hear good things from one's parent. We educate and encourage the LGBT community to build families through fostering and adoption to answer the needs of the 400,000 children in our nation's foster care system. RaiseAChild's National Adoption Month campaign includes special events for prospective parents in Chicago (November 18), Los Angeles (November 20), Kansas City (November 21), New York City (December 3), and San Francisco (December 5).
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