TEXAS, USA — Today's Wednesday's Child is medically fragile and lives in another part of Texas. So, instead of having him travel to us, we got creative and did a Zoom call with Darnell and his advocates!
Prepare yourself, 8-year-old Darnell's sweet smile and spirit will melt your heart!
Advocates showed WFAA pictures of Darnell when he was just a baby. Even though he's in the neonatal intensive care unit in the photos, he's smiling and looks adorable.
Darnell entered the foster care system when he was a baby in the hospital. It's also when his attorney ad litem, Doris Berry, met him for the first time.
"The doctor indicated to me that he wouldn't survive 30 days. I've often thought I'd like to go back and find that doctor and say, this is what a good therapeutic foster home can do for these kids," Berry said via a Zoom interview.
Darnell was born with chronic respiratory illness. He's lived in the same foster home his entire life, where he receives around the clock care from dozens of staff members.
"He has about 38 moms, and everyone treats him just like he's their kid," said Tammy Bolin, proudly.
Bolin is Darnell's foster mom. Like his attorney ad litem, Bolin has also known Darnell his entire life.
Although he doesn't speak, Bolin said Darnell communicates in many ways, including with sign language, his energy and with his beautiful smile.
"His laughter is affection. If you listen to him, he's got the best laugh ever," said Bolin.
She said Darnell is thriving.
"His loving nature has really kind of blossomed in the last 2 1/2 years, where he wants to hug and he wants to give you kisses," she said.
"He means so much to all of us. He's got so many mamas and so many daddies. He's part of our family," she said.
Darnell is active. He loves to swing and do what every other child does.
"I want Darnell to have a home that is a loving family, that looks at him as their own, and that he participates in all of their family outings. He goes out to eat, he goes to the park with them. All the things we do with him," she said.
Darnell needs a forever family who can handle his medical needs and who is willing to help him for the rest of his life.
"I would love to see a family that has the patience and the love to take care of a child like this," said Berry.
As his attorney ad litem, Berry is determined to help Darnell find the perfect family who can care for him just as, she says, his foster home family has cared for him all his life.
"He can show a family what love really is," she said.
His foster mom hopes a family with a medical background will step up to adopt him.
"He's going to have to have somebody that's very savvy with medical, like a nurse or doctor, somebody who understands respiratory illness," said Bolin.
Just think about the prognosis Darnell overcame at birth. Doctors said he wouldn't make it past 30 days, and here he is eight years later.
Darnell is a special soul who needs an equally special family.
"I just hope a family that will consider him will see him for what he really is... that he is an awesome, sweet and loving little soul," said Berry.
For more information on how to adopt Darnell, please send all approved home studies to LaQueena Warren at LaQueena.Warren@dfps.texas.gov. Please remember to include Darnell's name within the subject line.
If you're not licensed, please visit adoptchildren.org to find out more information on how to become licensed to foster and/or adopt or contact LaQueena Warren at 817-304-1272.
For more Wednesday's Child stories, click here.