Matthew Ramsey, our Chief Development Officer, shared this touching story about his son’s homework assignment earlier this year. So many of you commented on this story that we’re sharing it again here.
Speechless. Proud. Emotional. That’s how I felt when our 8-year old son, Malaki, turned in his school project in which he was asked to describe what’s unique about his family. When he told us about the project, so many thoughts came to mind: you have two dads, you were a foster kid, we adopted you. I even gave him a little prompting in this area, reminding him that his family is LGBTQ. But in the end, he wrote that what makes our family unique is the following: we’re Steelers fans, we read Harry Potter together at night, and we like to be lazy and cuddle together.
Because, you see, children who need safe and loving homes don’t care about gender or sexual orientation. They don’t care if they have two dads, two moms, one grandparent, a mom and a dad, or whatever their familial makeup is. They care about spending time together, sharing love, and reading stories. They care about feeling safe and feeling loved. And they care about having a family that’s always there for them, no matter the shape or size.
I’ve been the Chief Development Officer for Family Equality Council for six months now. This work isn’t just my passion. It’s my life. Over four years ago, my husband and I welcomed two foster brothers into our home. They were 3 and 4-year-old bundles of energy, coupled with some elements of trauma. Who could blame them? Ripped from their parents, then their grandparents, and then bounced from their first foster home into our family. Seventeen months later we adopted our boys and we officially became a forever family. The boys are about to start second and third grades, and I have had front row seats in watching them grow and flourish.
We’re fortunate in our family. My husband and I were able to form a family in Washington State, where there are laws that are supportive of prospective LGBTQ parents and their efforts to form families. Not all children are so fortunate. Some are born in Kansas or Oklahoma, or one of the other 8 states that allow foster and adoption agencies to discriminate against prospective LGBTQ parents based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Labeled “Religious Exemption” bills, these discriminatory practices are preventing children from being fostered and adopted by otherwise qualified LGBTQ parents and thus those children are toiling in the child welfare system. Some will fortunately find safe and loving homes by other means. Some will find homes that aren’t safe or loving. And some will age out of the system when they turn 18, thrown out into the real world with no resources or safety net on which to fall back.
Family Equality Council is fighting these discriminatory bills. We are promoting the best interests of all children in the foster care and adoption system through our Every Child Deserves a Family Campaign. And we are working to ensure that all LGBTQ individuals who desire to form a family can realize that dream.
We cannot do this alone. We need your support.
I’m a staff member, but I’m also a donor to Family Equality Council because I believe in the power of the work we do. Please join me in supporting the children and families we serve by making a donation today. As you can see from Malaki’s story, we all want the same things: love, justice, family, equality. Thank you for your help in making that a reality for all.
Chief Development Officer, Family Equality Council