Forever Family: Tyleak

Published: Nov. 26, 2019 at 8:09 PM EST
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Our day at Smith Nursery started off with overcast skies, cold temperatures and gusty winds. We were at a nursery and much like the weather at the start of the day this sweet boy’s disposition matched the weather.

Tyleak had his hood up to shield the wind, he was quiet and slightly disconnected and cold. However as the day went on and the clouds parted and the temperature warmed up, so did eight year old Tyleak. With each degree the temperature rose, so did Tyleak’s disposition and level of engagement.

We film 40-50 children a year in North Carolina and all of them stand out to me in unique ways but there was something about this child that caught my attention. Part of my intrigue was that he had the sweetest, most unexpected laugh I have ever heard in a school aged boy. But mostly it was because I was captivated by how quickly you were able to get Tykeak not only engaged, but laughing and having a good time.

I spent the most time with Tyleak riding the tractor from the back fields to the front of the nursery. The first ride he would give me an occasional smile when talking about activities he enjoys and characteristics about his teacher or friends from school. He talked with me, yet he still kept a slight distance and came off very reserved.

By the afternoon Tyleak had his hood down, leaned in close to tell a joke, and laughed a deep belly laugh while he teased Eric. It made me view him through a lens that almost made me see him as enchanting. It was like he came to life and grew rapidly and elaborately. Almost like when you see a fairy tale movie and the beanstalk takes off with leaves and branches elaborately and intricately weaving together a breathtaking sight before your eyes.

That’s how it felt with Tyleak that day on the farm. As the light and warmth infiltrated our day on the farm, the warmth and light of this little boy came to life right before my eyes. In the morning I tried to engage him because you could see that light in his eyes that he was afraid to let others see. However, what I loved most is that by the end of our time it was as if you could not take your eyes off of him because of the joy and the hope that glimmered from him.

This is a boy who blossomed in one afternoon right before our eyes and you could not help but want to soak up the warmth and light that beamed as he smiled. I can only imagine what Tyleak’s future can be if he is able to be placed in a loving home. It is my greatest hope that Tyleak ends up with parents who start off everyday with their sole purpose to bring out the light in this remarkable eight year old and let him know his worth and how incredible he is.

Ashley McKinley

Program Development Director

North Carolina Forever Families Coordinator

Seven Homes Inc

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