Inconveniences, Large and Small

by | Mar 24, 2024 | Stories

Adoption Day

Recently, I had the privilege of being present in Judge Deborah McNabb’s courtroom for three adoption hearings, and each left a unique impression. In the first, a grandmother formally adopted her teenage granddaughter after years of caring for her. The courtroom, aside from the caseworker and court personnel, stood quietly empty. In the second hearing, a father adopted his 9-year-old stepson, with the joyous presence of grandparents from both sides to witness this significant ceremony. The final hearing involved a foster family adopting a child who had been part of the CASA program. In attendance were her CASA volunteer and numerous friends and family, all gathering to celebrate the momentous occasion.

Parental responsibilities

While the circumstances of each adoption were different, Judge McNabb followed the same script. After describing the numerous responsibilities of parenting, including things like providing food, clothing, shelter, education, medical care and more, she asked, “Do you understand that you will also be responsible for providing love, affection and encouragement, and that there may be certain inconveniences, large and small?”

So many inconveniences

I must confess, I couldn’t help but chuckle at first. I immediately thought of all the “inconveniences” I’ve encountered raising my own two boys. However, on reflection, I realize that the inconveniences persist even now that my children are adults. Elizabeth Stone’s words resonate with me: “making the decision to have a child is to forever have your heart go walking around outside your body.” It truly feels that way. Not a day passes without me thinking about my boys navigating a world where uncertainties are around every corner.

Since those adoption hearings, I’ve thought a lot about being inconvenienced.

  • Parenting is inconvenient.
  • Caring for children or teens in any capacity is inconvenient.
  • Being a foster parent is inconvenient.
  • Being a court appointed special advocate is inconvenient.
  • Giving financial resources to support vulnerable children is inconvenient.
  • Any situation, where we put someone else’s needs before our own can be inconvenient.

Embracing inconvenience

Yet if we aspire to build a community where every child can thrive, we find ourselves with no option but to embrace inconvenience for their sake. I extend my heartfelt gratitude to all CASA volunteers, board members, friends, and donors for your unwavering willingness to be inconvenienced for vulnerable children in Kent County. Your commitment lays the foundation for a brighter future for these children.

 

This story is featured in the Spring 2024 edition of CASA connect, CASA of Kent County’s quarterly newsletter. Click here to view a pdf version of this newsletter.

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