“It’s been a journey”
Steven Allen contacted us through our “share your story” form. He wants to tell his family’s story so that other people will consider adopting older children.
I registered with an adoption agency in 2012, shortly after my wife died from cancer. I knew what kind of child I wanted and was very selective. I wanted a child just like Opie Taylor from the Andy Griffith television show that aired in the 1960s. (I described him just that way to my case manager. But she was too young to know who Opie Taylor was. She had to Google it!)
For the next three years I looked tirelessly for a child I thought would be a good fit. I originally wanted a boy who was between 8 and 12, but as time moved on, I opened up to the idea of an older child.
After three years of searching, I was about ready to give up on the whole idea. Then one summer day in 2015, I saw a 15-year-old boy named Logan on the state adoption photolisting website, It’s My Turn Now Georgia. Reading his profile, I saw that we had a lot in common. I’m not athletic at all. I can’t throw or catch a football to save my life! Sports weren’t important to him either. But he was interested in skeet shooting and other things I enjoy and could teach him about.
I inquired about Logan, and his case manager told me that I should meet him at an adoption party in Houston County, an hour-and-a-half drive away. I was very reluctant to go to the party. I had been to one before and felt very sorry for the kids there.
As it turned out, Logan was reluctant to go too. In fact, just like me, Logan was almost ready to give up on adoption. He had been in foster care since he was 10 and had two failed adoptions. His younger siblings had been adopted by a family who didn’t want Logan. He was tired of being hurt.
Logan told his case manager that he’d go to this one party, but if no one adopted him, he’d plan to stay in the group home where he was living until he was 18.
When I arrived at the fun park where the adoption party was being held, I had to talk myself into getting out of the car and going in. I went in and couldn’t find Logan. His case manager came up to me and asked if I was Mr. Allen. I told her I was. Then Logan came up to me shook my hand and said, “It is nice to meet you.” He was so polite.
For the next two hours Logan and I played video games and laser tag and rode go-karts. The time just flew by. Before I knew it the party was over. When his case manager asked if I wanted to see him again, I couldn’t say “yes” fast enough.
We had a series of visits, and on the third visit Logan and I—unbeknownst to each other—each asked his case manager if we had to wait the full six months before the state would release him for adoption.
Logan moved into my house in December 2015. His adoption was finalized on my father’s birthday. I felt like it was a sign from my dad in Heaven telling me Logan was the child I was supposed to have for my son.
During the past year, Logan and I have done a lot of exploring. Logan loves planes, and I have my private pilot’s license. We go to airshows and museums, which is something I used to do with my father when I was a boy. We recently went to Logan’s first 4-H modified trap shooting meet. And he did great!
Wherever we go, I take a lot of pictures of Logan and me so that he’ll have something later in life to remember. He only has five or six photos from his life before I adopted him.
Finding Logan was a long journey. At times, I wondered if adopting a child was a good idea. But it was all worth it. Logan has a good life—the life he deserves. And I have a son to love.
Think adoption might be right for you? Learn more about who can adopt and what it takes to be a successful parent.