Guest post by Mike Carroll, DCF SunCoast Regional Managing Director and father of one biological child and one adopted child.
When our son Jason was younger, he described his adoption like this: “My sister Sami came from mommy’s belly, and I came from mommy’s heart.”
Last week in Tampa DCF’s SunCoast Region celebrated National Adoption Month with adoptions of more than 80 children. This was literally a life changing day for these children and their families with many smiles and even some tears shared by all. It’s also one of those days that you really appreciate working in child welfare.
This day also gave me pause to reflect on the life-altering experience my family went through when we finalized the adoption of our son Jason. To steal a line from Tom Cruise, my wife Debbie, my daughter Sami, and I would simply say that Jason “completed” us. We wouldn’t be the same without him!
Another big time in our lives was the first time we had to sit Jason down and explain who his birth parents were. We were nervous wrecks wondering if he would still love us the same. When we were done with the family meeting, Jason had tears in his eyes and asked if this meant he had to go live with somebody else. Of course, we said that would never, ever happen. We would always be his mom and dad and sister. Jason stood up, smiled, and said, “Ok, can I go back outside to play with my friends?” Our hearts were full.
I believe that children are a gift and those who come to you through adoption are a very special gift indeed. It is a gift that will keep giving the rest of your life! I would like to personally congratulate all 80 children and their families who received this gift last Friday. If you have ever considered adoption, please visit Explore Adoption to learn more.