“I don’t think anyone will foster a child with a 20-year-old single male.”
A single 20-year-old describes how he fostered and adopted three boys.
Cora, my grandmother, reared me from four.
How did I get my grandmother? My parents made selfish, bad judgments that affected my life.
I spent my first four years living with my parents’ friends and family before moving in with my grandmother, whom I didn’t know.
I had plenty of caring adults.
But, I spent most of my youth waiting for my biological parents to care about me, visit me, and recognize me as their creation.
I was so focused on pleasing my parents that I forgot I had a whole community behind me.
Teenage me realized that. I was 16–17.
I journaled as an adolescent. “One day, I would like to adopt,” I wrote.
Why write that at 17? Because I always looked out for younger people. I knew nothing about foster care or adoption.
I thought, “Oh, I’m 19, almost 20.” I qualify. I’ll call and see if they’ll listen.
I scheduled the interview, walked in, and was authorized for training.
The agency head was honest, telling me she didn’t think any social worker would want to place a child with a 20-year-old unmarried male.
“I’ll be patient,” I said.
My paperwork had a curious question on what race I was comfortable with at home.
I checked all the options to avoid appearing racist.
“What are the odds of me obtaining any child in my family besides a black child anyway?” I thought.
I received a call to take in a seven-year-old kid with only his name and an emergency placement.
I met him and his foster family at a supermarket to talk. I thought the youngster was black. No reason to think differently.
A white child sat at the table! I panicked because I had no idea how to raise a white child.
He was my first white child. I accepted him.
A bond formed. He adopted.
I became his father because he wanted me to.
After a few years, I fostered again and solely adopted from foster care. I got a foster child after over 100 requests.
Nervous and excited. “Barry, are you ready for two kids in your home full time?”
We placed two. Two white kids.
After my second kid was born, I was called to respite care for a tiny four-year-old child.
When respites increased, the tiny kid was adopted.
When I kept him regularly, the workers asked if I would adopt him.
Fatherhood has been rewarding for 11 years.
The boys’ rapid growth surprised me!
One of my two teens graduated high school. My son will be a teenager soon.
What do? I liked having boys. No, it wasn’t easy. Much tears and healing!
Many question if I’ll adopt again. Currently, no. Uncertainty exists.
I currently advocate for foster children awaiting adoption, aiding many local organizations when needed.
My sons’ future is unknown. I want they become terrific, loving, successful guys.