In honor of Fathers Day which is June 16th I’d like to thank all of the fathers who have been involved with Project Wait No Longer or as a mentor/foster parent to any child in the foster care system. I would also like to share the inspirational story of one of PWNL’s single dads! Sam was matched with his son DeWayne from Washington in 2010, when DeWayne was 10 years old

How did you decide you wanted to adopt? I always told myself if I wasn’t married by the age of 50 than I would adopt a child. I went on adoptuskids.org and was sure I would find my child. A friend warned me about the sugar coated child profiled that would appear on adoption sites but I felt inside that I would find my child. I was initially referred to Barker by a friend. After attending an initial information meeting with the director of PWNL, I knew this program would be a good fit for me, as I had the desire to adopt an older child.

What was it like to visit with your future son? When I arrived at our first meeting I was so nervous that I thought about turning around. To my surprise, DeWayne met me at the door and was very excited. We spent 3 days together and it was wonderful. For the second visit DeWayne came to visit me. At the time, I was working at the White House so he got to meet President Obama, Mrs. Obama, Sasha, Malia and even Bo the dog! He sat down with the President and asked lots of questions. He was very confident and talked like if they were old friends! Although the visit went well, I was still nervous and continued to pray throughout the entire process.

What was life like when DeWayne first came home? Dewayne came home for good in February and it was not easy all the time. The first two months were pretty tough. DeWayne threatened to run away twice. We both had a lot to adjust to but eventually settled into a routine. I am now retired and Dewayne and I are able to spend a lot of quality time together. We go fishing almost every day! I feel like God has guided this entire journey.

How is life different now? Life is awesome! I have a wonderful son and a solid support system. The Barker Foundation has been most helpful. Beverly, Dewanna, and DeWayne’s caseworker have been there for me every step of the way. They knew what I was going through and didn’t turn their backs on me. DeWayne has made my life so easy, and he inspires me. My favorite moments are when I hear DeWayne Say to people, “My dad adopted me.” It makes me smile on the inside every time he says it. He is proud to be adopted and I am proud to have a son.