Here we go on day 3 of the My 500 Word writing challenge. Once again, I am passing GO and collecting my $200 by skipping the prompt that was sent to my inbox at midnight so I can tell you a little more about yesterday...
After Town Hall was adjourned, I went into the hallway to man a table that had some Walk for the Waiting materials for students. I had a few free t-shirts and brochures for students to take to their parents and churches. This might have been my favorite part of yesterday because I heard a little feedback from a couple audience members.
Mr. K, Director of Teacher Learning, approached me and shook my hand. He said he felt the Holy Spirit move while I was talking and that he wanted to see Walk for the Waiting grow and spread. Mr. K is also a youth pastor at a church in central Arkansas. He looked me in the eyes and said his church would be participating and doing whatever they could. I was truly touched. Did my words seriously bring in the Holy Spirit? Praise God for being on my lips and moving throughout the room!
Later, a younger girl, maybe 10 years old, came up to me with a big grin on her face. She thanked me for coming and talking, and said she really enjoyed my adoption story. She went on to explain that she was at Walk for the Waiting last year and loved it, but had no idea what it was about. I asked her what she thought about it now that she knows what it stands for and why it exists, and her face lit up. "Oh yeah! I want to take a lot of brochures and tell my Sunday school class!"
That little girl is why I want to talk to schools about adoption. Real, long-term community change starts by educating adolescents and inspiring them to want better for their peers. I wish I had more time to tell them about what they're missing in their history and sex-ed classes, like the orphan train and knowing about adoption if ever faced with an unplanned pregnancy (to offer another option instead of abortion). One of my main messages was to understand the importance of practicing sensitivity and empathy when they meet a classmate that has a different kind of family than they do.
After students started filtering outside and the hallway started to clear, I noticed Danny talking to a student of his named Phil*. "This is the kid that calls me dad," Danny joked. I love seeing the teacher-student relationships my husband has made. He is truly great at what he does. Phil looked at me with a boyish grin and said, "Mrs. Cisar, I've been wanting to ask you this a long time. Will you go to prom with me?" I hadn't even noticed the group of students that had gravitated over to witness this proposal. I laughed and replied, "That's so sweet of you! Unfortunately, you're just a little bit too late. Mr. Cisar already asked me."
Between experiencing the Holy Spirit, teaching someone about adoption and foster care for the first time, and being asked to prom - my first school talk was something I'll always remember! Several other students told me their eyes were really opened and that they wanted to tell friends and family about it. It fired me up to talk to more schools and introduce adoption to our education system, for the sake of our future generation.
Teaching young people about a cause they can be passionate about and really make a difference for is setting a healthy foundation for them to build on as they go to college and become contributing members of society.
Change begins at home. Movements begin with passion and unity. Lighthouse Academy showed me that it's possible. We can do this!
Until no more are waiting,
*some names have been changed or omitted to protect the subject's identity