Like many foster children who "age out" of the system, 23-year-old John had given up hope of ever being adopted. Then he met Mark Hauck and his partner, Tim Ferraro, who became his friends ... and later, parents:
The soda shot out of John's nose when Mark asked the question. He thought that maybe he hadn't heard Mark correctly.
"We'd like you to be our son," Mark offered. "We'll leave it up to you to decide."
But John didn't have an answer. He asked for a few days to think about his decision. At first, John grew angry when he thought about their offer to adopt him.
"I don't think I was used to the level of commitment they were offering," John said. "An adoption can't end."
The permanency Mark and Tim promised was a striking contrast from his past. When John stirred trouble, the state moved him to another foster home. When he acted violently, the state punished him by sending him to residential treatment.
Several days later, John appeared at Mark and Tim's door with his belongings. John decided he was tired of spending Christmas and birthdays alone. He realized, even as an adult, that he still needed parents to provide him advice -- and compassion. He wanted a family of his own.
Link (Photo: Kevin Davis)