Opinion

Dear Mr. President: Please adopt me | Nandell Palmer

Dear Mr. President,

How are you and First Lady Michelle? I hope all is well. My name is Eric Tolliver Jackson, and I am 6 years old. I was born in Charlotte, N.C., but moved to Newark, N.J., when I was 14 months old. Two of my younger sisters were adopted by a lovely family in a city called Federal Way in Washington state.

By the way, Mr. President, before I go any further with my letter writing, is it OK to call you and Michelle "Daddy" and "Mommy" for the time being? I am just itching to do so. "Mr. President" seems too stiff for a child like me.

Daddy, like you, I love to play basketball. I would love to learn how to swim, but I have nobody to teach me how to do so.

This is the fifth family I have lived with since my parents died three years ago, but I am very fearful as to when I would be shuttled off to another family. My guardian is a lovely lady, but physically, she is not able to take care of me properly.

I hardly get time to play outdoors with other kids because Big Mama tells me that it is dangerous outside. This is no way for an active and bright boy like me to live. I am grateful for every family that has taken care of me, but each time I moved, my living situation got worse.

I believe that I am a lovable, handsome and kind boy. I believe, too, that I deserve to be with a family who will love and care for me with all their heart. I have so much to offer to that family who adopts me.

I’ve oftentimes overheard adults say that most people don’t want me because I am past the adoptable age. At times I’m tempted to believe them. But I am hopeful that will not be the case.

For a boy my age, it is hard to live without a mother’s kisses and a daddy’s smiles. Many times I feel like I am a flower, just growing wild. I feel as though nobody wants me. But if stray dogs and cats are adoptable, so am I.

I never seem to understand much about this red state/blue state thing you talk about in your speeches. Do you know anybody in a red or blue state like me?

I love red and blue because at my treehouse school, whenever I combine them, they turn into purple, which is the color of my TV friend, Barney. Do they have a purple state?

I know that you have a big heart for children. A black child would suit you as much as an Asian, white or Hispanic child. Any adopted kid would feel comfortable in your home, Dad. But could that child be me? I ask first.

If for some reason you cannot adopt me, could you please tell your friends about me and other hard-to-adopt kids like me throughout America? Tell them about the joy that comes from adoption most of the time. If you tell them, they will listen. Your kind deed could save millions of us from a lifetime of abandonment and permanent foster care.

Should you find it difficult to adopt me at this time, I will understand. I promise I will not hold it against you. And I will continue to spell out your name every day with my alphabet soup noodles at lunchtime.

The other thing: How do you think Malia and Sasha would see me as their little brother? I would add a lot of fun to their lives, too. I would keep them laughing all the time. What about Mommy? I would make her proud to be called a boy’s mama! And Bo, the family dog? I could show him a trick or two.

Daddy, if you and Mommy adopt me, you don’t have to worry about potty training and daycare because I am an independent boy now, due for first grade next school year. I won’t demand too much of your time because I know that you have a lot of things to do.

My foster mother once told me: “Eric, you can be anything in life if you put your mind to it.” I believe her from that point on. So, would it be wishful thinking if I want my father to be the President of the United States? I think not! What do you say, Daddy?

Your future son,

Eric Obama

Editor’s Note: The aforementioned letter is a sociological satire, which seeks to bring more awareness to adoption. Nandell Palmer and his wife, Yvonne, adopted three grade-school boys in 2005. They are truly basking in the joys of adoption.

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