“Draw a superhero,” says, King, age 3, as I sit in his living room talking to his family and taking notes as fast as I can write. He’s adorably demanding, and, of course, I oblige.
“Draw Dad as Iron Man and Mom as Superman.”
“What about Carmen?” I ask, referring to his 11-year-old sister who sits beside me on the couch.
“She just gets a dress. She’s not a Superhero,” King replies with a mischievous grin on his face. Carmen giggles and rolls her eyes at her little brother. He seems to be in charge around here, but no one seems to mind much.
King is a ball of energy, according to his parents, Liza and Bart, who welcomed him into their home through Foster Care when he was only six months old. King’s adoption finalized in March of 2018 and the now-family-of-four couldn’t be happier.
“King has come a long way,” says Liza as she watches him devour popcorn from a bowl that sits on the coffee table. “He was abused badly. His ribs were broken. He had liver damage. There was internal bleeding.” Despite a rough start in this world, the trajectory of King’s whole life changed the moment he came into the Trescott’s home.
Bart and Liza met in January of 2006 on a blind date set up by friends. They lived two hours away from each other but met halfway at a restaurant in the middle. The two hit it off immediately, but their dates were few and far between given the distance between them and the fact that they both worked full time. Over the summer of 2006, the couple fell in love and married in April of 2007. Carmen came soon after and they both admit it was all a bit of a whirlwind.
Liza’s heart had always been open to adoption, and she says it was always part of her plan. Bart hadn’t necessarily planned to adopt, but he certainly wasn’t against it. Both of their hearts were drawn to foster care. They knew how many children out there needed forever families. Bart has a younger brother who was adopted as a toddler, and both Liza and Bart have friends who grew up at Crossnore (then, The Children’s Home). Fostering through Crossnore was a perfect fit for growing their family.
Although Liza and Bart immediately adored this sweet baby boy that came into their home, Carmen, who was nine at the time, wasn’t so sure. In those early days, she described her new brother as “boring and annoying,” but she secretly loved him from the start. When they were unsure of King’s future, Carmen would worry about him, wondering if he would be well cared for if he had to leave. But now the two have grown together, typical siblings, laughing and smiling one minute and aggravating each other the next. When asked what he likes to do with Carmen, King smiles and says, “I dance with Carmen to music!”
King’s parents describe him as outgoing, affectionate, friendly, with a great sense of humor. He loves dancing, sports, and running around. It doesn’t take long to know that it’s all true. Sweet King has a big personality and lights up the room. He’s very bright, inquisitive, and is verbally advanced for a three-year old. His parents say he loves their three cats, whom he affectionately calls “Fluffy Fluffs,” and likes to help cook.
All in the family.
And it’s not just Bart, Liza, and Carmen who adore King. “When we go to family functions, my brother-in-law picks him up, carries him around, and announces, ‘The King is here!’” says Bart. Liza smiles and adds that he has brought so much joy to all their lives. “He’s such a blessing,” she says.
Of course there will be challenging things the family will have to navigate. Liza knows that it won’t all be easy—being a multiracial family, the effect on King as he gets old enough to know his full story, maintaining a relationship with his biological family as King has a maternal grandmother and three half-sisters. But it’s all worth it. “Crossnore provides so much support to get you through it,” says Liza. “There is such a need for families. King has brought a lot of love into our household. It makes it all so rewarding.”
As for King’s future, both Bart and Liza say he can do anything he wants to do. “We will support and encourage him in any direction he wants to go,” they say. They talk about his talents, his spirit, and his love for anything active. “I just want him to be happy in life,” says Bart. “I want him to be adventurous and to try new things.” Spend any amount of time with King, and you’ll feel it too—his love for life and his sense of wonder and adventure.
“Really, who rescued whom?” Bart ponders, as he watches King bound across the room. “He’s something else,” says Liza.
Something else. It’s a phrase that sticks with me as I sit and take him in. This happy, healthy, active little boy deserves all he has and more. But it could have gone another way. It could have been something else. It hits me again in this moment—the heartbreak and beauty of foster care. The reminder that God can do amazing, wonderful things, and bring so much good out of the bad. Hope from sadness. Beauty from ashes.
“Well, is there anything else either of you would like to add?” I ask, as we wrap up the interview.
“We’re all good,” states King matter-of-factly as he asks his dad for a refill of his popcorn bowl. I laugh and scribble down the quote beside my pathetic stick figure drawings of superheroes. All good. You sure are, Buddy. I couldn’t have said it better myself.