By Diane Ponist
Last month, the month of November, was National Adoption Awareness month. We had an over whelming amount of people, all over the world contact us about getting started. We communicated with our foster agency and are going to even start holding recruiting open houses at our home for those looking to get started come this January. There were events everywhere throughout the month, which is amazing that these children are getting the representation needed.
As you all know, this month is very special to us in our household. We have adopted one child through the foster system and currently have 3 toddlers ages 2, 3 and 3 awaiting adoption as we speak. One person that contacted us is someone that had a question about a common website adoptuskids.com. This is the very site that we found DeAndre, literally it is an online catalog of children waiting for forever homes.
So when she reached out to us, she stated that her case worker told her not to look on this site. Apparently, this website and children in the system long-term are “Hard to place children with extreme health and behavior issues”. For me, this hit a nerve, our precious son was listed here, he is amazing. These children are just kids that are in foster care that are legally free for adoption or soon to be free for adoption. Most of them, like DeAndre, are just in foster homes that are doing just fostering, not interested in adoption. So now these kids are labeled as “troubled kids” when it literally has nothing to do with them. A lot of them are just too old for people that want to adopt younger kids.
What irks me is, DeAndre was listed as “severely autistic” on this site. His biography on the site stated that he was nonverbal and would never be able to function as a “normal child”. I get it, many people who don’t know better and say autistic children are too much to deal with. I will tell you first-hand, from fostering non special needs children also, they are all a piece of work as most children are in their own way. Don’t get me wrong, it was a struggle in the beginning, but we needed to learn our way as parents.
Deandre was once labeled as what these children are now being called, as his parent, it makes me angry. My son is literally a genius, talking 90 mph now and gorgeous. He was just labeled by his piano teacher as a music phenomenon. His piano instructor said this just this week “DeAndre has a musical talent that is beyond this world. I want him to learn more about Piano, I want to teach him for him to be able to go far in his musical path career after this school. He is extremely smart. He walked into the class room sat down at the piano and read every single black and white musical note to twinkle-twinkle little star and then played it 3 times on different keys”. He is nothing what they told us, he is now a high functioning autistic child.
My point is this, these children are all amazing. Every child has greatness; love is all that’s needed to just tap into what is not on the surface. The first thing everyone who personally knows us, that was there from day one with DeAndre says the same thing. “Look what love can accomplish” that’s all we did, we love him the way he deserved to be loved. From just that, this incredible person blossomed and is putting smiles on faces of every person that he meets.