CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - There are so many memorable things about our featured twelve year old that it was difficult to focus on one specific thing as I sat down to write this week’s story.
There are several aspects of my job with Forever Family that require attention to detail. I help recruit children to film, coordinate professionals involved with filming, work with inquiring families, and assist the case worker to update the child’s profile.
With all of these organizational aspects involved you would think it would be hard to recall specific information. However, it is just the opposite. Each and every filming is etched in my memory in great detail. To the point where if you were to name a location I could tell you what children we filmed there. If you name a child I could tell you one of their favorite hobbies or even a quote they said, not just weeks after filming, but even years later.
This week’s Forever Family child is no exception! His name is Robbie. I thought about this twelve year old and how he made us laugh, his quirky expressions and moments that I have complete certainty that five years from now I will still be able to recall.
Being with Robbie was an adventure in every sense of the word. Robbie kept us watching to see what he would do or say next. He would look up at me his eyes so wide I could see more white than color, his shoulders tensed and shrugged, his eyebrows up and to finish it off he would smirk in such a way you couldn’t help but laugh. What was even more memorable than his facial expressions was his heartbreaking reply to our newscaster’s personal testimony of being adopted.
When Eric Thomas finished, Robbie was quick to reply, “I’m never going to get adopted.” It startled me, made my shoulders slump forward and almost took my breath away. Here we were skipping a day of school for a fun day of filming. We had an enormous lunch spread, a huge trampoline park that was closed to the public and a day focused completely on making these children feel special. But in that moment, for me it made the swirling emotions and the excitement of the day quickly come to a standstill. I replayed it again and again in my mind, “I’m never going to get adopted.”
How is it that this goofy, feisty twelve year old boy who has a lifetime ahead of him, would state something so emotionally loaded, yet in such a matter of fact way? The reality is that Robbie is just like thousands of older children in foster care throughout the nation who fear that they may never find their forever family.
In five years when I talk about Harold, Michael and Robbie and the other kids who were there that day at filming I will not just talk about the funny expressions he made or the fact that he prefers pepperoni over cheese pizza. I hope that years from now when I talk about our January 2019 filming I will say, “Remember Robbie? He was our feisty redhead who claimed he would never get adopted, but guess what... he did and you should see him now!”