By Chris Alexis
November is National Adoption Awareness Month. Let’s talk about it. It’s an important discussion to have. You see, the truth is heartbreaking. Not every child is born into the right circumstances. It’s not fair, but you can tip the scales a little further into balance. Check out the following story. Perhaps you’ll feel inspired.
A young boy with autism, CJ, had no loving home to call his own. But then he met Dee Marks through the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. It would become an emotional voyage for both of them.
The organization’s mission is to dramatically increase the number of adoptions from foster care. It happens through a program called Wendy’s Wonderful Kids, which sends funds to adoption agencies throughout the US and Canada. Those agencies hire specially-trained adoption recruiters whose sole mission is to find loving, permanent homes for the children most at risk of aging out, including older children, siblings groups, and children with special needs.
Dee said there was a lot of adjustment at first as CJ’s autism proved to be a roadblock to him bonding.
“It took time – LOTS of time – but each day that I stuck by him, he started to believe that I might just be different than the others who had come and left his life. And every time I saw even the smallest crack in his protective shield, I loved him more. We began to bond and today, five years later, neither of us can imagine our family being anything other than the one that we have. We are mother and son,” she said.
“Overall, it’s been an amazing adventure; one of learning, laughter, tears and love,” she said. “This experience has also strengthened my resolve that every child should have the opportunity to feel love, to experience truly being part of a family and to have a place that is home. If CJ’s life could be changed so dramatically by having love, family and home, imagine what it could do for ALL of the children waiting for their forever family.”
Dee strongly encourages young professionals to get involved. Some are ready to become adoptive parents. But even for those who aren’t, fundraising is crucial. Donations provide staff, events and services needed to ensure those children in need of a home are connected to the family meant to be theirs; it does take work to find the right match.
You can donate by clicking this link.
“The experience of adopting CJ didn’t just change him, it forever changed me,” Dee said.