I have long called my kids by numbers on social media posts.  8 years ago TC legally became our #1.  TC. My most elderly child is going to a military program to finish up high school. He is 17.  And that is super old.
I am 36. I think. Someone correct me if I am wrong.
I met TC when I was 26. He was adopted when I was 28 and he was 9.
When TC first came to live with us, he was a terror. A goofy, angry, furious, raging, terror. TC is a survivor. Dealing with some of the darkest parts of humanity as a child will alter the world view and create extreme compassion and bitterness, simultaneously. Which describes TC so well. We have witnessed healing and growth. But the scars remain, like so many of his former-foster-youth comrades.
And here we are, a few years later. And he is moving out.  It went by so fast.

Adoption Day
I have known TC for 10 years. In parenting land, that isn’t long.  Seasoned parents, when your child leaves, do you have SO MANY THINGS YOU WANT HIM TO KNOW? My brain is a mush of advice, sayings, bossings…I have so many bossy words.
Bossy Words From A Bossy Mom
Doing stupid things make life harder. But you will do stupid things.
It is how we handle the stupid that defines our character. Apologize. Make it right. Accept the consequence with a good attitude.  And move on.

Be a good friend.
Be a good friend and you will maintain good friendships. You will have people, community, cheerleaders, shin-kickers. All the things we need. Being a good friend will bring about purposeful friendships that begin with a small kindness and are fed and flourish with honesty and trust.
Love. Not hate.
Even in deep-rooted, horrid, angry disagreements, there is no place for hate. There is always another side to hear. Another story to hash out. Your generation will never drive out injustice by drawing lines in the sand and touting obnoxious ultimatums. The resolution will almost always be found on the other side of a kind word, lovingly said and well received.
Always choose to forgive.
Even when the person doesn’t ask for forgiveness. Even when you are still mad. Even when you want to throat punch someone. Forgive.
Stuff is irrelevant. People aren’t.
The name brands. The phones. The silly things that are so easy to get attached to are not what is important. People. Search for the value in the people around you and you will always find it.

Which brings us to…

Always fight for the marginalized. Whoever they are.

Marginalize – to relegate to an unimportant or powerless position within a society or group

Son, this is where your heart is split open for the world to see. How we treat the incorrectly stereotyped, repressed, and persecuted populations broadcast who and what we value. Value people. Value life. Value what is good and kind. It is so, so easy to jump on the high horse of judgment and self-righteousness. But please remember, we are only one decision, one mistake, one step away from the hungry, the orphan, the homeless. We aren’t as far removed as we want to believe.

As you go from man-child to man, remember all of this. And if you forget, come visit and I will happily remind you.

Choose what is right, noble. Go to church. Love Jesus. Love your wife, your children, your friends, your family. Work hard. Speak kindly. Value what is actually valuable (and it is absolutely, 1000% not your cell phone.) Fight against injustice. Remember where you came from and make a plan to get to where you want to go…wherever that may be.

You have a voice. A compelling story. Use them to change the world.
Life is quite a ride and almost never what you expect. So hold on. And off you go.


3 thoughts on “#1

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  1. Oh gosh, I am in tears reading this and remembering the first time I met you and the gang… I admire you, Nigel, and the kids so fully… I do not even want to imagine how you feel as you are about to allow your oldest to move on to his next phase in life… I think I would throw a tantrum and wrap my arms around Makiah's legs, refusing to let go until she either took me with her or promised to stay forever, lol. TC, you are a great young man, sweet and funny. I know you will do well if life. Your mom is a genius, listen to her lol. Good luck to you both, love to you all!!! Much Respect and Adoration… Stacey Hernandez


  2. I have seen TC many times at the homeschool co-op and I've thought what a kind young man he is! And my daughter also thinks the same! Love this and I also want to share so many of these things with my 17 year old!!!


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