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This is Us: Episode 1 Recap – Bringing America Closer to Adoption and Foster Care 

Just like many other adoption agencies out there, Haven staff loved the first season of This Is Us, and the second season premiere was no different. We have fallen in love with this remarkable cast, with all of their complexities and struggles, along with their triumphs and successes.  The writers have a gift of tying together the past and present lives of this beautiful family that was built on love and adoption.

This season, This Is Us has us even more hooked with the new plot line of foster care.  Haven has the pleasure of working in both adoption and foster care, and what a gift foster care has been to both our staff and our foster families.  And we know that foster care is going to be a beautiful gift to the viewers of This Is Us too.  

As This Is Us shows, adoption is beautiful and complex and sometimes really really hard.  Adoptive parents like Rebecca and Jack worry about birth parents coming back and taking their child away from them.  Adopted children like Randall wonder where they came from and work really hard on fitting in when sometimes they feel like they don’t.  And biological parents like William spend 36 years wondering and praying that their child is ok.  Rebecca chose to keep Randall’s birth father a secret, which as we all saw last year had devastating effects on a grown, 36 year old man.  Randall and Rebecca had a lot of hurt to work through together, while Randall was given a wonderful gift to spend the last year of his biological father’s life with him.  Randall reflected on what life would have been like if he was given the opportunity to know his biological father throughout his life, and Rebecca struggled with feelings of regret and guilt for keeping Randall away from William for so long.

Now, at 37 years old, after the death of William, Randall is ready to start another phase of his life by adopting a child of his own, as his parents did for him.  Randall and Beth have two biological daughters, Annie and Tess, and Randall is pushing to expand their family through adoption.  But as we saw in the end of the season 2 premiere, Beth has a different idea.  When she takes Randall to the spot that she and William used to spend time together, they see a group of troubled boys on the basketball court, one of them significantly younger than the other two.  Beth and Randall begin talking about making a difference in the life of an older, troubled child who is in desperate need of a loving home.  And at that moment, they decide to enter into a very different world than adopting a newborn.  A world that brave foster parents are immersed in every day in order to make a difference in the life of a child and expand their family.

We can’t wait to see what this season of This Is Us brings, and for viewers to learn more about adopting from the foster care system, and all the beauty and heartache and joy that comes with it.

“I know you have this notion in your mind, this perfect little newborn that we can shape and mold from scratch like play-doh, but Randall if we are really going to do this, I think this is the way. Your parents did something wonderful for you, and because of that you had a wonderful life, but things could have been very different for you. THAT could have been you. So if you really want to do this, if you really want to risk our perfectly imperfect life for something, let’s go all the way. Let’s take in an older kid who no one else in the whole damn world is going to help.”

This Is Us, we couldn’t have said it better ourselves.