Never Give Up Hope
from Summer 2002 Adoptalk
by Jason S. Adams
When Jason was 13, he won first place in a writing contest sponsored by the South Carolina Department of Social Services. The essay question was, "What advice would you give to the person you were five years ago and why?" Below is his award winning response, as first printed in the Spring 2001 South Carolina YOUth Connected.
Five years ago, I was just a confused and scared little boy of eight years old. I had lost all that I had ever known, yet believed that my mom would somehow change and that she would do the right things to get me back.
To make a long story short, she didnt. She just dropped out of my life. As I went from one foster home to another, I lost hope. I was put in a childrens home where I stayed for a long time.
Lisa Huskey in Greenville was my social worker. One day she told me that a man wanted to adopt me. I was real hopeful but really scared. I was afraid that he wouldnt like me after he met me. What if I was adopted and it turned out to be just like the foster homes? If that happened, then I just thought I would die.
The man came up in the early spring. I was so nervous about meeting him. He was late. When they told me that he was lost in traffic, I knew that he had changed his mind and left. Why shouldnt he? So many others had.
I had gone to the gym to shoot some hoops when they came and told me that he was here and was waiting to meet me. My stomach felt sick. I didnt want to meet him. I was so afraid that he wouldnt want me after he saw me. I walked in and there he was. He spoke to me and smiled. Some of my nervousness began to leave.
He was tall and had a beard. I went over to him and gave him a hug. He was a nice man after all. We spent the rest of that day together and I went with him the next day. He was easy to know and I knew this was what I had wanted.
To make the story short, the man adopted me and now he is my dad. Ive been with him for three years. It is like I have been with him forever. I have brothers and he adopted all of them. We have lots of fun even though Dad gets on us about homework and chores sometimes.
My dad has shown me how a real dad should be. He can be tough as nails, yet Ive learned to trust and to love him because he is kind and funny. We do lots of neat stuff and Dad has taken us all over the American West. With my brothers and me around, we never have a dull moment.
I put Dad through some tough tests. He passed them all, but I had to see if he really wanted me. After a tough time, I told Dad that I was sorry for making it so hard on him and tried to explain that I just had to know. He looked at me and finally smiled and said, "Son, if you are going to test me, why dont you just write it down on paper and let me pass it that way? If you will, it will save me from stripping a gear and having gray hair." My dad is the best.
Today I am 13 years old, have passed seventh grade, play the trumpet, and am in honor band. My grades are good and I have a real family.
The advice I would give the person I was five years ago is to be calm. Dont worry so much. Youth dont know the future but that doesnt mean its going to be bad. Never give up hope because a stranger to you can become the man you will call Dad.
Postscript: Im 15 now and will soon start 10th grade. Im also studying for my learners permit. My family has grown to include six brothers. They are all pretty cool most of the time. After 14 months, Dad sent an 11-year-old boy back. He was violent and kept threatening to kill people, but it was hard for all of us to see his placement disrupt. Dad spent a lot of time talking to us and explaining why; we know it was for the best. Now Im looking forward to finishing high school and going to college. My dad taught me to dream, and I still have a lot of hope for the future.