His name is Kevan. I had the privilege of driving him to have his first Heart Gallery picture taken over 2 years ago. I picked him up at school and drove him (along with 5 other boys! What was I thinking?) to the park to meet the photographer. Four of the boys headed back to school, but Kevan, then 9, and Alan, a 13-year-old, hung out with me throughout the entire 2 hour shoot: they filled their pockets with candy and took turns playing on a Playstation PSP that one of them had brought.
When we all loaded back into the car, an interesting thing happened. These two boys, who had never met, decided that they ‘wanted to be adopted together’. Kevan told me “we’d be great brothers, we’d share everything…” I couldn’t help but think what an awesome sight that would be: these two strong handsome boys sharing a family. Before I took them back to school, we made our way to a fast food restaurant. I told them they could order anything they wanted. Kevan waited patiently for Alan’s lead and then proceeded to order exactly what Alan ordered. After hearing the total bill for the food, Kevan looked curiously at me and said “you must be rich”. I told him that wasn’t the case, that I just wanted the day to be special for them.
As we sat in the parking lot while they ate their lunch, we talked about what kind of families they would like to have. I explained the Heart Gallery, and told them that it was my job to help find a family for them. Kevan blurted out from the backseat “Thank you for taking me to get my picture made today, and for taking me out to lunch.”
“You’re welcome, Kevan”, I said as I wondered how many ‘normal’ kids would be grateful for such a small un-exciting adventure.
I dropped them off at school that day with a fierce determination in my heart to find the perfect family for those two!
Fast forward two years. October 2010. Alan has a forever family. Kevan…well, Kevan had his picture made again. Two years older, two more years without permanence. My heart broke as I talked to him and watched him get his picture made. I wondered if he remembered the day we shared two years ago, and the fact that I took it upon myself to find him a family. I wondered if he felt the way I felt: that I had let him down. And I have let him down, we have ALL let him down.
I ask myself over and over again how we can get the word out about kids like Kevan….kids who through no fault of their own have ended up in an endless system, without hope, waiting…just waiting. It is time that we look into the face this child who is counting on us to spread the word that he is valuable…he matters…there is no one else like him. It is time that we
plead Kevan’s case and do not rest until he has the one thing that has eluded him…a place to call home.