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Chris James

There are gay heroes

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Chris, thank you for sharing that article. Here in New Mexico, gay men and women are allowed to foster and adopt children, much to the dismay of other states. When David and I moved here 8-1/2 years ago, we found a state that was very gay friendly, but with a mostly closeted gay population. That's one of the major reasons that he and I opened the first gay and lesbian community center in the state.

I have a daughter, but David has no children, and we decided to look into the possibility of fostering a boy that needed a family, We found many! I must say that it's one of the most emotional and heart felt experiences you can have when your foster boy calls you dad for the first time.

We also took in a 15 year old boy a year ago. We grew to care about him, but his issues with a mother that doesn't want him, his lack of, or understanding of what family is all about, and his need to be accepted drove him to make many wrong choices. We are the 23rd home he has been in since he was 2 years old. He was eventually removed from our home for a higher level of care. He was placed in a group home, but could not follow their rules. Eventually he was incarcerated in County Juvenal Detention and then transferred to a rehab center in Albuquerque.

He has always wanted to come back here to live with us, but I told him that the only way he could make that move was when his behaviors were under control, when his motivations were stable, and his outlook on his life became positive.

He's been there for a few months now, and I talk to his therapist on a weekly basis. She is ecstatic about how he has turned his life around. I don't have to relay the details, but only to mention that he was given an award as the most outstanding resident of the month for October.

His 16th birthday is this Friday (the day after Thanksgiving), and David and I are going to drive up to Albuquerque (we live in Las Cruces) on Saturday to take him out to lunch. I believe that this kid has turned himself around. Maybe he needed the strict rules and support that he has gotten there.

We'll take him back, because we care about him, and maybe we can show him how a family functions to support each other.

He wrote me a letter last week. It was the most tearful thing that I have read in years where he told me how David and I have opened his eyes to what a future he can have...and that he loved us.

Richard

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How wonderful for you and your partner, Richard. Real life heroes are often hard to find, but you seem to qualify.

I just don't understand all the opposition to gay parenting. Does anyone really believe these children would be better off without someone in the role of parent? Being a foster parent is a tough role since so many of these kids have a troubled past, much of that due to an uncaring system in our government that doesn't provide the proper protections and oversight.

I am always apalled by the number of chldren cast on the street by their parents, the gay kids seem to suffer the most. Perhaps I am just ignorant but I thought there were laws that require parents to be responsible until a child turns 18. Not that I would wish a child to be returned to an abusive home, but I would like to see a few more abusive parents locked up. The system is screwed up when a caring gay family cannot become foster parents or adopt.

So you go on doing the right thing and setting an example for the rest of society. You deserve our praise. :icon_thumleft:

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I thought there were laws that require parents to be responsible until a child turns 18.

There are, but it's a financial responsibility only. There's nothing to say that parents have to be decent human beings, and to love and care for their children.

Personally, I think being a parent is a privilege that should be earned. It's easy enough to have a child - easier, almost, than having a cat. It's the eighteen years that follow that proves how well you do - and it's NOT a question of money. Ultimately, love is better than a pair of the latest sneakers.

Richard and David deserved a thoroughly good bit of lauding! :icon_thumleft:

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So you go on doing the right thing and setting an example for the rest of society. You deserve our praise. :icon_thumleft:

And our greatest admiration. Of course, you're certainly being amply rewarded by the love the boy is returning, and the knowledge you're accomplishing one of the most important things a man can: raising a boy to be a responsible man.

C

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That is wonderfully unselfish and caring, Richard. It does take infinite patience to raise children -- I've watched my brother and his wife deal with their two kids, and they've done an amazing job, especially in difficult situations.

I hope things work out. It is possible for a teenager even that late in life to turn his life around, but they've got to be willing to grow and understand how the world works, and how other people see them. I think a lot of kids are so wrapped up in themselves, they don't understand the context of life, the art of conversation, loyalty, and compassion. Some eventually learn how it all works.

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