The thought of adopting entered my mind one night when I was heading home from my office in DC. I was riding the bus and saw an ad with a father and three children across the aisle from where I was sitting. As soon as I saw that ad, something hit my heart and I said to myself, "I want that." Soon-after, I began the adoption process.
My first introduction to Marcel was at the foster care agency I was working with at the time. I was there with another child that I had at the time and I remember fussing at Marcel along with the other child I had for getting into something they had no business. I remember that I had this strange feeling come over me to let me know that he was my son. After inquiring about his status, they quickly got us together and he has been my son ever since.
I saw Willard’s picture on the adoptuskids.org site after getting the feeling that I was not through after adopting Marcel. When I saw his picture and read the info about him, the words that he was "looking for a father" struck my heart. I got a chance to meet him face to face which was a moment I’ll never forget. I fell in love with this kid when I saw him and knew that God had sent me my second child.
I also saw Teako on the adoptuskids.org website after still feeling I had one more child out there that was assigned to me. After seeing Teako’s picture on the site my spirit jumped inside of me and I knew I had found another son.
To my surprise, the process wasn't so difficult as I thought. As a single African-American man I assumed there would be some issues; but, instead I was dealt with the utmost respect and courtesy by the entire Adoptions Together staff. They were very friendly, encouraging and prompt. The staff always put my heart at ease with each life-altering step I took towards adopting my first, second and then my last son. I especially liked the fact that this agency has a cultural component.
The Project "If Not Us" team is made up of people of color who can guide all whom are especially interested in adopting an older African-American child. Now that my family’s complete, I volunteer with "If Not Us" to help other prospective parents complete their families through adoption. I invite everyone that's thinking about adopting to first consider an older African-American child because these are the children that need homes the most.
AdoptUSKids is a service of the U.S. Children’s Bureau and has been in operation since 2002 by the Adoption Exchange Association under a cooperative agreement (grant #90CQ0003). The mission of AdoptUSKids is two-fold: to raise public awareness about the need for foster and adoptive families for children in the public child welfare system; and to assist U.S. States, Territories, and Tribes to recruit and retain foster and adoptive families and connect them with children.