Sometimes we just need to have a good cry.
There's something about the privacy and seclusion of my car that gives me permission to let that happen. Don't worry...the car is parked when the floodgates open.
My most recent driver seat outburst was after wrapping up an interview with a boy named Tyrene.
I first met Tyrene a couple of weeks ago at a foster child celebration event hosted by Trinity Baptist Church in Lake Charles. It was an eye-opening evening of fun and heartache - all rolled into one mush of emotions. Some of these children were there with their adoptive parents. Some were there with foster parents, knowing that it's just a matter of time until they are reunited with their biological parents. And then there are the others, like Tyrene, fully aware that they are in the system until someone steps up.
For Tyrene, there has not been one phone call throughout his years in foster care. Can you imagine what that must feel like?
Tyrene does not have behavioral or emotional problems. In fact, he is the most polite and gentle child I've ever met. That's not me making a statement just to get you to think about adding him to your family. It is 100 percent true.
On my second meeting with Tyrene, two cameras, microphones and lights were involved. I could tell Tyrene was nervous, but he bravely agreed to talk on camera because he knew this could be his best shot at getting adopted.
I started off with the basic questions:
What grade are you in?
What are your favorite subjects?
Math and reading.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
A police officer.
What do you like to do for fun?
I like playing with my foster brother. We play outside. I like basketball a lot. I wash the dishes and the cars, too. And I like learning about Jesus.
Then the conversation needed to shift to the heart of Tyrene's story.
What kind of parents would you like to have?
Would it matter to you if they were black or white?
That doesn't matter to me.
What about if they lived in the country versus the city?
That doesn't matter either.
What kind of things would you like to do with a family?
Just spend family time together.
Do you know what it means to be adopted?
That I could be in a home forever.
I know you have older siblings, what has it been like being separated from them.
If a family told you that they could give you a home and love, what could you give them?
Thanks. I would give them thanks.
Tyrene is another "hard to place" foster child. As an older African-American male, he is likely to spend more time in foster care than other children, particularly those that are Caucasian, younger and female. This classification as hard to place also means that Tyrene could qualify for financial help to offset monthly expenses.
I pray that you consider adopting Tyrene. Sure he's a little older and you aren't going to see all of the "firsts" that come with a baby or toddler. But think about the firsts Tyrene still has left to experience! His first Christmas with a mom and dad. His first time at school to write down the names of parents. His first time to have a forever parent cheering him on at basketball games. He has a lifetime of love to give and you will undoubtedly receive it in return.
Tyrene is legally ready to be adopted. To learn more about adopting him or one of the other 350 children in state care, call the Department of Children & Family Services: 337-491-2470 or 1-800-814-1584.
Check out Tyrene's story on KPLC's The New Family Tree here.