Thursday, October 17, 2013

Is there a right to love?

I'll offer my thoughts after this heartwrenching article...

A 15-year-old Florida boy who's been in foster care his entire life is so desperate for a family to call his own, that he recently took matters into his own hands.
Davion Navar Henry Only gathered his courage and stepped up to the pulpit at St. Mark Missionary Baptist Church in St. Petersberg, Florida, asking, directly, if anyone there might want to adopt him. He told the parishioners, "I know God hasn't given up on me. So I'm not giving up, either."
After learning that his biological mother, who gave birth to him while she was in prison, had passed away, he asked his caseworker, Connie Going, to take him to church so that he could make his request. She agreed.
Arriving in a donated black suit too large for him, wearing a zip-on tie that he wouldn't have known how to tie himself, he followed intently along with the sermon before declaring, "I'll take anyone. Old or young, dad or mom, black, white, purple. I don't care. And I would be really appreciative. The best I could be."

In a piece that ran in the Tampa Bay Times earlier this month, reporter Lane DeGregory recounts that the boy was shy, but he was determined to speak at the church.
His mother had been in jail on petty theft and cocaine charges when he was born. After his 15 years in foster care, Davion looked her up for the first time and found out that she had died. Since then, he's been working to manage his temper and pick up the grades he let slump.
He couldn't let nerves and shyness deter him from showing the people in the pews that he could become somebody's son. So he walked to the front of the church, and he let his earnestness speak.
The Tampa Bay Times story detailing Davion's plight has gone viral. The piece got 14,000 shares on Facebook just from the paper's page, and thousands more from aggregation in the Daily Mail, ABC News, People magazine and others. His story has even been shared in Australian media.
If this were a movie, the happy ending would place Davion within a warm household, where he would learn to be loved and continue to ace his way through high school. But whether or not his brave stunt will earn him a home in real life remains to be seen.
Connie Going, the Eckerd adoption specialist in charge of Davion's case, could not be reached for comment, but data from the Administration for Children and Families' Children's Bureau suggests that Davion's chances aren't great.
An agency report shows that black and Hispanic children made up the majority of kids in foster care at the end of the 2012 fiscal year. And out of 400,000 children in foster care last year, only 52,000 were adopted.
The Times reported that two couples asked about Davion at the time his story was published, but none neither had moved forward with an adoption.
Florida Department of Children and Families spokesperson Terri Durdaller said the agency got around 300 calls about Davion earlier this week. Since then, the number has risen to "several hundred."
"We hope everyone who calls is a potential parent," Durdaller said. "We're hoping to connect him with a forever family and that this will bring recognition to the foster system in Florida."

  Hello My Friends;

  As you all know, I've not done a lot of posts lately.  In great part, I've been very busy with the leaf season lawn work.  But, that is not the full reason.... sometimes I just don't have a lot to say.  I've told you that before, but it's true even still.  But, I'm having trouble writing this.  It is just a terribly simple thing, so very basic, yet words seem to fail me.  I feel sad, fearing that this poor boy is not to find what he wants and needs.

  As I read this article, it occurred to me that we throw out cartoons, signs, rant and rave, and in some scabbed over calloused portion of our heart, we know that what we say is a sign of our pain, our frustration, our anger with the hope yet the doubt that those who are in power will ever change... and yet, this young man just stands up and declares "this is what I need".    I can't help but to wonder if someone will help.
  But, yet... let us look at the people who could help him:  Could a gay couple?  Perhaps, but doubtful.  Gay marriage is yet questionable in Florida.  Gays adopting a young teen?  I can see the slurs and jokes now.  And, no matter how straight, a single man is not likely to be allowed to adopt.  And, sorry to say, a black teenager brings out more stories to cause fear in the news than care or concern.  Will people see his heart?   Somehow we simply figure that the state, which has eaten away at our freedoms and our humanity at every turn, will care for him.  It's not our problem, because likely we wouldn't be allowed to help anyway, why try.

  So, what we have, then, is a young man, desperate to be loved and understand the concept of family, where he will be loved for who he is as a person.  Still.  It's a real life, not a congressional bill bandied back and forth by pompous bootlicking congresspersons who care only about their wallet and how it can be made fatter.  It's a heart, a young mind, willing to be loved, hoping to be loved.

  Wow, if he only knew the dreams that represents for so many.  How many of us came from homes or know people who came from homes where we were not loved for who we were?  How many of us understand the concept of unconditional love, respect, support?

  No, what makes me sad, this young man is so very much alone.  I can't even help him if I wanted to.  In a world where people believe in the "right to life" but not the "right"... or at least the "freedom to love", where we see the theory of "trickledown economics" as really important, the freedom to purchase a firearm - multiple firearms without pause for investigation into the reason for such dangerous items that have but one purpose:  to kill; the derision of a single mother seeking an abortion and calling her a murderer for that horrible need, yet then when she needs money to raise the child she is sneered at for seeking welfare, scorned for going to work without childcare, and called horrible things when her child gets into unsupervised trouble!.....where the feeding and caring of our poorest, most needful, as "handouts" always said with a sneer, and to even care for those less fortunate is considered a weakness, a Sunday Morning Penance at best, in this whole mess sits this poor lad is wanting to simply have a home.  I wish him all the best.


Anonymous said...

I think that what is even sadder is that 400,000 children are in foster care!!! HOLY CRAP! What are we doing wrong that so many children are removed from their parents and placed in foster care? I'll tell you what. We are ignoring mental health care and TRUE drug addiction treatment in this country. We are locking people up for minor drug offenses or offenses related to drug abuse rather than fix the underlying problems. We have an educational system that is stacked against poor children (race taken out of the picture - being poor alone puts you at a HUGE disadvantage). And that education system needs to be overhauled by EDUCATORS, not POLITICIANS and EDUCRATS. We howl about cutting Head Start funding, yet the gains from Head Start disappear by 3rd grade, so that is NOT the solution. I don't know what is, but housing (herding?) people in tenements owned by quasi-governmental agencies, sending them to third rate (Third World?) schools, and not treating those parents with drug and alcohol problems. Instead we lock them up and take away their kids, plunging the kids into a system so fraught with dysfunction it makes the WORST of families look almost homey. I'm astounded that 13% of the children in foster care are adopted (though that number may not be valid given that of the 400K, not all parental rights may have been terminated so many may not be eligible for adoption) with all the hurdles and restrictions we place in the way. I can't adopt. I'm 55, and gay. Gay COUPLES can't adopt. And then you have those loving childless parents who would love to adopt except they hear about the mentally ill mother who ships her adopted kid back to Russia, and horror stories of adopted children who never adjust to new homes because once the adoption is over, most of the time, support is over, no matter what the agency says about counseling and followup and treatment if needed, etc. ARGH!!!!!

IT MAKES ME SICK!!!! Sorry for the rant, but this is a subject near and dear to my heart.

Peace <3

randy said...

I love your rant. Thank you!


Anonymous said...

BTW, there IS a right to love. It falls under "pursuit of happiness" because nothing makes you happier than loving someone else.
Peace <3

randy said...

Well said, Jay!