I grew up in a culture where being married was the prime focus of your identity. And I never liked that thought process. Moving to the United States made me feel more comfortable to be me, and not feel the pressure of having to find a partner in order to have a status. Instead, I got to focus on my career and enjoy being single.
Since I did not have the best upbringing, I always knew I wanted to be a dad so I could change the narrative and be there for other children.
Throughout the years I had met so many families while I was traveling, who were adopting from different countries. I always noticed it was only females or white families, and that made me think I did not qualify to adopt since I was a single black man. So, when I first tried to sign up to be a mentor to teenagers within the foster care system, the woman asked me, "why don’t you just sign up to be a foster dad?” And it surprised me because I did not think it was possible!
I finally had an opportunity that landed on my doorstep, and it opened so many doors for me. I had found my calling, and to think I had so many assumptions that I could never do something like this.
Then I drank the cool-aide and fell in love with working in the foster care system. I honestly had thought that my dreams couldn’t come true if I was not married, but I am out here fulfilling my life purpose and making a difference as a 'non-traditional' foster parent.
So, if you are reading this and thinking to yourself, “Is this something for me”? Or if you have been wanting to take a leap and chase after your dreams, but something is holding you back; here is what I encourage you to do. Take that step. Ask all of the questions. And get the facts, do not just go off your assumption because you might be pleasantly surprised. If you have something you’ve always wanted to try, go out there and search and be relentless in making it happen.
Coming from a place where I never thought it was possible to be a single foster parent to now, having had fostered 20 kids, adopted my son, and in the process of adopting another. I am here to tell you anything is possible.
It’s hard, it's messy, and it is so fun. And it feels amazing to be doing something I was called to do.
So go out there and find your calling too.