Tayte Laws is just about the cutest thing you’ve ever seen. The two-year old runs around the playground going from toy to toy to toy, playing with each one for approximately 4.2 seconds before moving on to the next. Most pictures snapped of him are a blur. His mom, Brandi, follows him to each one, trying to coax him to sit still. It doesn’t work. This sweet little ball of energy has places to go, trucks to push, and tricycles to ride. He has no use for silly things like sitting still and posing for the camera.
Deciding to foster.
Tayte’s parents, Brandi and Matt, adopted him last summer. But adoption wasn’t always in their plan. The couple has two adult children, Brianna, age 21, and Ashton, age 19. It wasn’t until Brandi started working at Crossnore’s charter school, Marjorie Williams Academy, that her heart was opened to children in foster care. Brandi says, “After I went to work at Williams Academy I would often come home with a broken heart, wishing there was more that I could do to help these kids.”
Soon after, Brandi became very close with a young man there, who was about to age out of foster care. “Once he aged out,” she says, “Matt and I were mentors to him. Before long, he became like one of our own children. We are still very close to him.” Through this relationship, Brandi and Matt began praying about how to help other children. Matt says, “We decided since Brianna had moved out, we had room to take another child. We prayed very hard about what to do. Eventually we decided to go through the licensing process [and became foster parents with Crossnore].”
Getting the call.
In December of 2018, the couple got a call about a one-year old baby boy who needed a home. The two agreed to meet him and fell in love instantly. “That was on a Saturday,” Brandi says. “On Wednesday we brought him home.” It was five days before Christmas. The Laws’ situation was different than most, in that both birth parents relinquished their rights quickly, and things did not drag out in court. Tayte’s adoption finalized in August.
Tayte has a happy spirit and a playful heart and has been an amazing addition and huge blessing to his new family. Matt says, “Tayte’s happiness makes anyone around him happy. And he loves to be outside. It doesn’t matter if it’s playing or helping Momma water the flowers.” Brandi adds that he’s outgoing and playful and that he’s never met a stranger. He loves trucks, tractors, and Paw Patrol, naturally.
Dreams for Tayte.
Matt and Brandi have big dreams for Tayte. Although he was born with a very rare, serious medical condition and his future is unclear, it is full of hope. Matt says, “I want Tayte to be the best he can be. I want him to do his best at anything he attempts, to be better than me.” Brandi adds, “My most important prayer is that Tayte comes to know Jesus and lives in His perfect will for Tayte’s life. I know if he does that, everything else will fall into place.”
The path of foster care is certainly not an easy one, but Brandi and Matt both agree that it’s worth it. Making a difference in the life of a child and of course, the blessing of Tayte himself, are more than worth any challenge. “Foster care is not for the faint of heart,” says Brandi. “There are definitely days when you ask yourself, ‘What have I done? Have I lost my mind?’ There is a ton of paperwork, people in and out of your house on a regular basis…and let’s face it, we have a broken system that doesn’t always have the child’s best interest at heart. That part is tough.”
Helping the one.
But Brandi says that when she starts to have doubts, she thinks about this story.
A young girl was walking along a beach upon which thousands of starfish had been washed up during a terrible storm. When she came to each starfish, she would pick it up, and throw it back into the ocean. People watched her with amusement.
She had been doing this for some time when a man approached her and said, “Little girl, why are you doing this? Look at this beach! You can’t save all these starfish. You can’t begin to make a difference!”
The girl seemed crushed, suddenly deflated. But after a few moments, she bent down, picked up another starfish, and hurled it as far as she could into the ocean. Then she looked up at the man and replied, “Well, I made a difference for that one.” – Loren C Eiseley
Brandi adds, “I may not be able to help all the needy children out there, but I’ll try my best to help every child that God puts in my path.” And that’s the beauty of becoming involved with foster care. Although the task ahead of us can seem daunting, and the number of children out there overwhelming, we all have the power to make a difference for the one. The one, like Tayte, who deserves all the care, stability, hope, and love in the world.
For more information about foster care or adoption, please visit www.crossnore.org/foster-care-adoptions.