(WBTV) - I loved hearing our Founder and Director of Forever Family tell our 12-year-old LaShawn, “Don’t go anywhere. Can I ask you more questions for other segments that we do for foster care awareness?”
This was one example of the power in the words spoken by our teen this week on Forever Family.
After a vulnerable and insightful interview with this young woman, we all sat there stunned by her maturity and her willingness to share not just about her story and desire to find a family but also her desire to see the face of foster care change.
LaShawn shared about her desire to be seen as more than just a label or statistic.
She shared her hope for individuals watching our segments to see her as a child desiring to be loved and have a family - to see them as “normal kids” wanting what every kid deserves.
She articulated that she believes all children and teens deserve a loving home and encourages others to consider fostering or adopting.
Statistically, many of our teenagers have a low probability of being adopted, and the chances continue to lessen as they approach age 18.
It was powerful to see this teen girl speak so passionately about her desire to find a forever family and not giving up until she finds a mom and dad of her very own.
LaShawn described attributes that would make her a good daughter or sister, speaking candidly about her many qualities as she chuckled and at one point said to our staff, “I don’t hold back”.
What was inspiring was not merely her own words and personality displayed as she gave a beautiful interview, but also what was expressed by her social worker and her Guardian Ad Litem who highlighted makes LaShawn special.
Whenever we film a child for Forever Family we ask the adults who accompany them to speak on their unique qualities and what family context they would thrive in.
Sometimes our adults get camera-shy and prefer not to share. Often times they will share very general information or list things that the child likes. Most of the time we have to prompt the adults who speak on behalf of the children to get helpful information about the child as to provide viewers with the best picture of our featured child.
What spoke volumes about LaShawn was that both her social worker and her Guardian Ad Litem requested to be filmed. We didn’t have to ask them a single question and instead they both spoke freely for a significant amount of time about LaShawn.
Their passion to help this young lady heal, their hope to find her family and their pride in how far she has come in her journey was evident.
This 12-year-old is beloved, and she is cherished by those who know her.
LaShawn needs to be known by a family.
Once she is, then just like the adults who on set that day spoke of her qualities with all the passion, hope and pride they possessed, she will have parents of her own who will forever do the same.
This article was written by Ashley McKinley. the Program Development Director and North Carolina Forever Families Coordinator with Seven Homes Inc.