This I Believe

Calvin - Sturgis, Michigan
Entered on February 15, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: family, love

I believe in uncoordinated little kids.

He had blond hair, blue eyes, and a smile that could melt anyone’s heart. I remember it like it was yesterday. He was running around and jumping off of the jungle gym with his seemingly clumsy arms some how working together to give him an unforgettable running style. Seeing him that day at the county foster care picnic, was all my family needed to determine that he was a special boy.

But I had many questions running through my head: how could anyone in his or her right mind not love a sweet child like him? Is he really as sweet as he looks? Is he potty trained? My family had already consisted of two girls and two boys and not to mention the fact that we got along pretty well. Being sixteen at the time and my youngest sibling being seven, I wasn’t sure how our lives would change with the addition of a toddler into our home.

We received our foster care license just weeks before with the intention of adopting. My future brother at the time, like many other children in the foster care program, had been through a lot. He’d faced abuse, abandonment, neglect, and he was barely two years old. This was a discouraging thought for me. But I knew that he had a way out.

Six months later, we adopted Cayden Jonathan into our family and we’ve never been the same. Even though many of the child psychologists said that he would never bond to anyone that he’d been through too much to recover- we thought otherwise. He began to speak more and more, and then more, and then some. It was truly amazing to see him increase his vocabulary with all sorts of big boy words- some that I admit that I am responsible for, and I owe my parents an apology for that one.

And so, I believe in miracles.

Today that ungainly little boy is six years old. He has food in his belly (including large amounts of candy at many times), a roof over his head, and so much more. Cayden enjoys playing in mud puddles and watching Sponge Bob Square Pants just like many kids his age do. He finds joy in playing video games and having me read him long boring books about whales and crocodiles. I can’t seem forget the one time I was reading him a book, and he stopped me mid sentence, and looked me in the eyes just to say that he loved me.

He is a blessing. He is family. And I believe in family.

I would like to say that I’m not a real emotional guy; that I am one of those testosterone-filled males who can undoubtedly open any tightly sealed pickle jar with ease. But when I think of what a blessing Cayden has been in my life, I do get emotional. I believe in a lot of things in life and those things are very important to me, but in this case- I believe that God never stops loving his children.