CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - And then he smiled… For a majority of the day Brandon was serious. This teenage boy had a deep voice and a more serious overall demeanor. He was nervous to be in front of the camera and was intimidated to be interviewed, as many of our teens are. Brandon was quiet and did not initiate many conversations but always responded respectfully and with simple, to the point answers.
The day started at the news station where a behind the scenes tour intrigued Brandon and he politely smiled and went through the motions. We tried to get him laughing or energetic and could not seem to get him to “light up” the way we hoped. We filled the teenagers up on pizza and sodas and took them to ride go carts and play video games. Our filming crew thought that surely we could get him to smile or laugh. However, we were not successful. Brandon remained respectful, calm, quiet but showed little reaction to things.
As Eric Thomas sat down to interview Brandon he tried desperately to get him to laugh or smile as he talked to him. This young man shared about his strengths, his strong academic skills, good grades and that others would say he is a kind and respectful young man. Our crew was in agreement that his insight to his own strengths were spot on. However, we all desperately wanted to find an activity or conversational topic that would bring out a more animated side of him. As filming wrapped up, and the interview came to a close we were thankful for the time that we were able to spend with his intelligent and thoughtful young man. We accurately displayed Brandon, he is articulate, more serious, respectful and has wonderful self awareness.
At the end of the interview Brandon was asked about a forever family. He was humble and vulnerable and appeared to remain stoic. Until he was asked where he would want to go on a vacation with a future family. Brandon finally allowed his lips to move in an upward motion and we say a smile beam as he pretended to do the hula. Our crews’ jaws dropped and we all chuckled softly. Not just because a teenage boy did the hula on camera, but the fact that this young man who we spent the day with fully let his guard down and smiled. We eagerly awaited that moment, we anticipated it with every fun activity and hoped for it as we cracked jokes. A genuine, heart-felt smile. It wasn’t the go carts, the pizza, the behind the scenes tour or the silly, animated weather man. What lit up this young man and made him embrace a moment of joy was the idea of a vacation with a family. All he needed to do was picture himself in a forever family… and then he smiled.