You guys, this show is incredible. I know a lot of people feel this way, but let me share with you why I do.
You see, I had to look at a little boy and introduce myself to him as his mother too. Except, my little boy was 10, not an infant. I, like Rebecca, felt guilt that I didn’t have the same bond with Manuel, like I did with my biological son, Chase. Rebecca met Randall’s father and shared with him that she was his son’s new mom. I looked Manuel’s mother in the eyes and told her that I would be the one adopting her son.
Like the Pearson’s, we are white and adopted a son of a different race. We had to have multiple conversations to prove that even though we are white, we can still connect Manuel to his Mexican heritage. We literally had to tell the courts what our actual plan was; where we would take him, whom we would talk to, what he would be involved with, etc.
We get to watch adult Randall and his wife start their journey with foster care and when James and I watch those episodes together, we said, “the writer of this show had to foster, because this is so accurate.” We have fostered girls who were afraid of James because he was a male and all their previous experiences with men have been destructive. We have fostered girls who were dirty and did not know how to care for their hair. We had moments of frustration where we did not want to allow our foster child to go on a visit just to get hurt, but we had to because they were court ordered. We have screamed about the broken system and how it feels like nobody’s watching out for the child.
I cannot watch this show without feeling like someone finally gets it. Someone finally gets how I feel and wrapped up all of my emotions in an incredible tv show. Not everything in our story aligns and there are vast differences. However, welcoming a child into your home and loving them as your own has far more emotions then I could ever put into words.
With November being national adoption month, I couldn’t not talk about adoption and I couldn’t not bring ‘This Is Us’ into the mix. I watch this show and so often feel like I am Rebecca and James is Jack. I have never cried watching any TV show or movie before watching this show. And I don’t cry because the story line tugs at my heart or because the writing is incredibly moving. I cry because for the first time I am watching something that reflects my feelings on adoption and foster care so accurately that all I want to do is point and scream, ‘See! This is what I have been trying to say! This is how I feel!” I get emotional with this show because every time I talk about our experiences or the difficulties of parenting, I am always misunderstood. The advice I am given is well meaning, but it always misses the mark. This show however, do not miss the mark. It is spot on.
Fostering and Adopting is a beautiful chaos. So when you are watching your favorite TV show; think of me and all the other foster/adopting mothers out there. Remember to pray for us and listen when we share our struggles, even if you don’t get it. Also, pray about how you can help the thousands of kids who will never know the true love of a mother or father unless someone steps up.
If you ever have any questions on how you could possibly help families who foster and adopt or become a family who fosters/adopt, don’t hesitate to ask me or a local agency.
If you are local to me and want to help these hurting children here are some resources that could help:
- State Foster Care and Adoption in Mahoning Country: Click Here
- Foster Care and Adoption in Northeast Ohio: Click Here
- To help children who are in need but do not want/can’t foster or adopt: Click Here