Posted Fri Apr 24th by Jonathan Douglas
You see, this year another former foster kid from Tennessee named Michael is projected to go in the first round. Michael Oher is a 6ft 6in, 310lbs O-lineman from Mississippi. And while Denver doesn’t have a need at this position I might be paying a little extra attention to where he goes tomorrow.
Michael Oher started off life on the streets of Memphis as one of 13 siblings. His mother was addicted to drugs and his father was murdered. He spent time homeless, finding food where ever he could.
Our Michael was actually found abandoned in a car parking lot three weeks before his second birthday. Among the only things with him when the police picked him up was his diaper bag that still had his birth mother’s hypodermic needles hidden inside.
In Michael Oher’s case, he bounced between several foster families before being adopted at age 16. And even though he’s now a FULLY grown man, hearing him talk recently with FoxSports about finally “having someone to tuck you in at night,” hits home in a major way.
In our case, we just finalized the adoption of our son and his biological sister last month. And while we continue to work with them on their very special needs, we are grateful that they didn’t stay in ‘limbo’ as long as Oher did.
This means happy endings for these former foster kids. Unfortunately, that leaves over half a MILLION kids in the US foster care system today.
As most of you know, my wife and I are very involved in our state’s foster care program and we spend much of our free time volunteering for advocacy groups and children’s charities. Most recently, my wife has talked me into getting off my lazy butt to walk in a 5k designed to raise money for school supplies and backpacks for foster kids in Tennessee (by the way, there is a great picture of our family up on my wife’s walk-athon page).
I’m not trying to talk anyone into fostering kids or even donating to any specific program… I just wanted to share a personal story about this year’s draft with you and why you might hear an extra big cheer from my house when Oher’s name gets called. :)
Have a wonderful draft weekend – and hug your kids (no matter what their favorite NFL team is)! lol