Editor's Note: Window on the Clearwater has joined the Wednesday's Child network to help spread the word about children that are waiting for families to give them the loving care that they need. Each Wednesday we will profile a different child. For more information about Wednesday's Child and how you can be involved check the web site at: http://www.idahowednesdayschild.org/.
Patrick & Darwyn
Patrick and Darwyn are two older teens who think and act most of the time like adults. They've been the glue that's held their family together for many years. Their younger siblings will soon be living with an aunt and uncle. Patrick and Darwyn want a guardian family that will finally help them feel they're home, too.
"My favorite thing to do in my spare time is listening to music. Music is my life. I like anything with a guitar…except Country. I like to ride skateboards. I don't do tricks--Darwyn does. I just like to ride. I like basketball. History and Math are my favorite subjects, but I struggle with Writing. After high school, I think I'd like to do Job Corps. I might choose auto mechanics or diesel mechanics or electrician.
I have a lot of views that aren't necessarily conventional. I would like a family that's flexible in their thinking and encourage family members to think for themselves. I would like to live in a big city. There's a wide variety of cultures and history and there's so much to do.
I want someone who will help me, but I'm also an adult. I'll be 18 at the end of the year. I would like someone to accept me for who I am, but also make sure that they want me as a part of their family. I want to come home, and really be home. I've never had that. If a family does accept us and respect us, they would have our respect. It's not a little thing to make that kind of commitment to us and we know that."Patrick seems to thrive on his relationship with his brother. They share inside jokes and play off each other's humor. Both brothers took on a lot of responsibility to protect and care for their siblings. Patrick has a strong sense of responsibility. At age five he was changing his siblings' diapers. He worries about his mom and all his siblings and can be very sensitive. Patrick excels when he takes time for himself and has his own space. He needs a calm, ordered environment and someone who can guide him.
"A perfect day for me would be to spend time with my friends, skateboarding, maybe swim in a pond, run around and be able to just enjoy the day. I like to eat--actually I don't eat that much. I love Math, numbers, formulas--it's heaven. I like soccer, too.
I would like parents that are a bit lenient--I mean safe rules, of course--but I don't want them to be background checking each friend or demanding that they meet my friends' parents. I just want them to be laid back about it like, 'Be back at a certain time and stay safe,' but not be so rigid that if you're 10 minutes late, you're grounded for a week. I like structure but not too much. We've grown up with either no structure or way too rigid--black and white with no grey areas. We need that flexibility that acknowledges our level of maturity and allows us to show we can make good decisions.
When I'm having a difficult day or I've made a mistake, I don't like to be berated. Give me some space where I can cool down, gather my thoughts and let me talk it over later when we're all calm.
If Patrick and I were together in a home, we would bring a lot of joy and laughter to a family. (Patrick adds, 'Lots of laughter!') We like to have discussions with adults also about serious things. If they really got to know us, they'd know they can trust us to be responsible even when they're away."
Those who know Darwyn describe him as intelligent, independent and extremely artistic. He does amazing graphic art with spray paint as the medium. He would definitely excel in school if he felt motivated to do so. He's someone who has a good head on his shoulders and quickly learns the lay of the land. Darwyn is very social and loves to hang out with his friends. He's someone who has a good sense of humor especially when he's with his brother.
Sometimes the grass is greener for Darwyn somewhere else--which is natural for someone who has lost much of his childhood caring for siblings. Darwyn would do well with someone who can help him enjoy the moment. He needs someone to call him on his stuff, but also to notice and enjoy his pleasant personality and talents.
Both young men want legal guardian parents who will be good examples, give them guidance and also give them the chance to prepare for adulthood. They've grown up very independent all their lives. They need someone who is very flexible and enjoys contributing to a young person's life successes.
The most important thing in a family will be whether adults will set fair rules, remind them of guidelines, but also recognize their ability to make good choices for themselves. Patrick and Darwyn have been responsible since their childhood, especially when it came to keeping their siblings safe. For that same reason, they need opportunities to tie into what is left of their teenage years and enjoy the fun parts of developing their identity.
According to Darwyn and Patrick's siblings, Anastazia and Mary, both of them are "nice, funny and protective." When the girls go to live with a relative in another state, they hope Darwyn and Patrick's family will help them stay in frequent contact with each other. There is no doubt that their love for each other has sustained them through their childhood and will continue to do so throughout their lives.
Portrait by Matt Green Photography
To find out more about Patrick & Darwyn, adoption or becoming a foster parent, email the Idaho CareLine (Please include your zip code and city.) or call 1-800-926-2588. In Idaho you can dial 2-1-1. You may be asked to provide this reference number: 30540.
|Window on the Clearwater
P.O. Box 2444
Orofino, ID 83544