This November, in honor of National Adoption Month, Project Wait No Longer hosted an essay contest for children adopted through PWNL and their siblings. We were eager to hear directly from the kids and teens, and wow, did we receive some great entries!
We are so proud of everyone who entered, and are excited to share the winning essays with you. Congratulations to Meghan, Age 10, winner in the 10 and under category, and Niko, Age 14, Winner in the 11 and up category! You can read their winning essays below!
“Where I’ve Been, Where I Am & Where I am Going”
By Niko, Age 14- Placed for adoption through PWNL
I have been to lots of places in my life. Some bad places, some good places, but it has not changed who I want to be in my life. The places I have been before my adoption were not the best places because I made some bad decisions. I don’t like to talk about it, but in my last foster home, I did not make the best choices. I did things I shouldn’t have done, which I regret.
Ever since I have been adopted by my new mom and dad I have been doing a lot better. I have just started football in high school and I am growing closer to my teammates every day. My home life is amazing. We cook and clean together and our dog Archie has the best personality. I feel like this is the best place for me to be to succeed in my life. I can see myself graduating high school with a great education to prepare me for my life ahead. I am trying my best for a great education so later on I can become a civil engineer.
Later on in my life I see myself as an amazing person. I can see myself doing great in college sports and education. In college, I would love to play football for George Mason University. The positions I would like to play are center inside and outside linebacker and nose guard. Someday, I hope to succeed in my job and hopefully become a father and a husband and having a great life with my family. I want to live in a big house with two dogs and my family. This is where I’ve been where I’m going and where I am now.
“My Debut at the Grand Ole Opry”
By: Meghan, Age 10- The proud older sister of Nala, who was placed for adoption through PWNL.
“Fasten your seatbelts and return your seat to an upright position, ready for take-off.”
Yay my father and I are on a father daughter adventure to Tennessee. We had an action packed week of activities planned from seeing a show at the Grand Ole Opry, digging fossils, exploring a children’s museum, an all-night bass fishing trip with a professional bass fisherman and finally one of the largest firework shows in the United States.
Although I know the plane ride will be short, it is still about four hours. The time passes fast as we talk and watch the Jurassic Park movie. I was so excited because that night we would get to go to the Grand Ole Opry. We had a very special experience in store. My dad had a friend who worked there as the sound engineer for the Grand Ole Opry. I had never experienced a country show and this was described as one of the best, this would be a lot of firsts. Many great artists were performing that night.
We arrived early not knowing what to expect. My dad's friend gave us All Access Passes. This magic pass allowed us free access to all parts of the theatre including the stage, backstage, and the sound and video booths. We were told we could interact with the performers in any place except their dressing rooms. They assured me that they would love to give autographs. We found a big black sharpie and I thought I was prepared. The tour was fantastic. We saw and learned about all the people who worked to make the show magical. Did you know that there are three backup instrumentalists who can play every instrument and can fill in for any of the sick or unable to perform band members? Next we got a big tour of the stage, the sound booth, and the video control booth. As I was given a tour of the stage I stood in the famous circle that all the singers stood in. Dad took loads of pictures of me and sent all of them to mom who informed the whole world that I had my debut on the Grand Ole Opry stage, on Facebook.
Our friend was paged and he hurried us back to the sound booth. Just in time to do a sound check for Audio Adrenaline. They seemed a little nervous at their first experience at the Opry. Well, so was I. It was incredible what his magic finger could do with the sound board. After conferring with the band and their promoters, he had a new audio signature stored in the computer.
Next on the docket was a very special occasion. It was the first time the Grand Ole Opry hosted Make- a-Wish. The performer had a serious heart disease and had a two percent chance of living. Her wish was to be a star on the stage. Everyone made her feel like she was a star. A demo tape of her performance was cut. It almost made me cry.
The sound booth is a big sound proof glass box high above the stage. My father's friend asked me if I had any questions. That was a mistake; I was filled with loads of questions. We watched in awe as my dad’s friend worked pushing all the buttons on the five foot sound mixer. He showed me how it sounded without the mixing and filtering. The artists were sometimes flat and often the sound was not balanced. He was able to fix it with his magic buttons. After the first three songs we went backstage to the green room where all of the singers hung out. We were able to talk to a few of them and their families. One of the singer’s Mothers was so excited that I was backstage since she said very few girls my age were excited about country music. Boy was I excited.
It was intermission, and we took advantage of our All Access Passes to go onto the stage so we could experience how it felt when the curtain opened. We made it just in time. It quieted down until it was completely silent, the curtains opened and bright spotlights filled my eyes and Lorrie Morgan opened her first number on stage. It went from silent to roaring. The audience was ecstatic and cheering as she belted out her famous songs and interacted with the audience. One of the acts was delayed so she played for time by telling jokes and stories. She knew how to work the crowd. Many more songs came on and they were wonderful too, but not as wonderful as being on the stage as the curtain opened.
Unfortunately the show had to end and I knew I couldn’t go to sleep as I relived the amazing experience. Although this was one of the most wonderful experiences, it was only the first day of my very special vacation with my father.