An adoption story about appreciating the little stuff
Derek and David adopted their son from foster care. On December 11th 2017, Steven officially became part of the family. The parents shared their story with us.
We found out we matched with Steven on a Wednesday afternoon. Derek was sitting at his desk at work, so any hope of productivity for the day was lost. David was in his classroom. He told his students and was greeted with much applause. Once we heard we were selected we were excited and surprised and immediately dived into “what happens next?”
We both started reading through Steven's profile and discussing it as quickly as we could. I got more hopeful as we read through - it seemed like he would be a great addition to our family.
Already we’ve made so many memories together. We went camping with Derek’s family in Newberry Caldera over the summer. It was a lot of fun exploring a lava tunnel, obsidian flow, and sharing some place incredible with him and our family. David and Steven went to a Maker Fair at OMSI over the summer and he wouldn’t stop talking about riding a giant robot for days.
Steven is starting to share our family’s love of science fiction too. We went to Rose City Comic Con and have been watching some Star Trek. We heard him gasp and shared his excitement at some of the big moments while he watched Star Wars Episode IV for the first time. Being able to share a “first time” experience with parts of our childhood again has been a great experience.
The little stuff is special too. We brush our teeth together in the evenings which seems like such a small thing, but when it hasn’t happened for a while Steven asks to do it again. Derek and Steven get to walk home from school some days which is always a special time.
During his caseworker’s last home visit we were playing a board game like Sorry. He had a chance to bump me or his caseworker out of the game. She asked “Who are you going to get?”, and he replied “I’m going to get Derek because he’s my dad!”
To him it was silly, but hearing that was amazing.
We hope to provide him with the opportunity to learn and grow to be his best. I suppose every parent's hope is that they end up raising a good person, isn’t it? He has so much potential and he is so clever. We want to give him a stable and supporting environment so that can really shine. Along the way we get to share and grow our family.
We recently enrolled Steven in martial arts, which has been an enriching experience for both him and us. It was an uphill battle in the beginning, but the growth in his attitude and focus has been amazing. Watching Stevie build his skills, focus, and be proud of himself is incredible.
For parents considering adopting: getting to the point of placement can be frustrating, but Boys & Girls Aid is working for the kids’ best interest and yours. Our ‘quick placement’ that started in November didn’t happen until the following March.
It’s hard, very hard. You’ll need more patience than you’ve ever required in your life. You’ll run out, and then you need to find some more. When you evaluate your life and routine, your ‘must haves’ and ‘can’t stands’ need to be either a very short list and/or be ready to table everything so that you can be there and present for your kid.
Lastly, slow down. We were fortunate that Steven gave us the feedback that he just wanted more time as a family. Our weekends were frequently packed with things going on, so we dialed it all back. It’s hard, because your family is getting bigger, people need to be visiting the home, and you still have all your friends and family. But staying home is just as important.
One adult can make all the difference in a child’s world. Just one. All the training, science, and belief in the world can tell you this and that about psychological development and parenting, but at the end of the day kids just need an adult to be their stable foundation.
There are so many kids in foster care just waiting for that one adult, that opportunity, so that they can grow up to be amazing human beings. They deserve that chance.