The Child I Didn’t Adopt

Nine-year old Stephen grips his report card in sweaty hands. We’re headed to an adoption event, where we will meet families who want to adopt an older child; families who do not automatically rule out a boy like Stephen with all of his long “history.” And he wants to impress them, these strangers. He wants to win them over, and so he brings his good report card along as tangible proof that he is a child worth loving.

A child should never have to prove they are worth loving.

Twelve-year old Stephen tells me that I’m his best friend. I’m his social worker, and he should have a real best friend, but I don’t say this to him. We’re at a taping for Wednesday’s Child, the news spot featuring children who are up for adoption. Stephen is engaging on camera. Maybe somebody will pick him this time. Maybe he is offering just enough evidence, at twelve, that he’s a boy worth loving. And he is lovable, truly.


I read this post years ago and saved it away in my files. Every now and again I come across it and I get all of the same feels all over again. I choked up and just started bawling as I read this again.

Some days I wonder why I chose this path of foster care. And then a gut punch like this comes my way.

I wish someone would do something. And then I remember. I am someone.