November is National Adoption Month. Following is one Peoria couple’s story about their own special adoption experience. The story of one couple who could not have children of their own and took the adoption road.
Patrick and Susan Ryan – A Couple From Peoria
Patrick Ryan is a native Phoenician who owns Ryan Safety Services, a business that services and sells fire equipment. He and his wife, Susan, live in Peoria.
After Patrick and Susan realized that they were unable to have children themselves, they began looking into fostering children who were in Arizona’s foster system and went on to adopt two children, William and Enrique, through Arizona Action for Foster Children. Patrick and Susan then went on to adopt two more children, Martha and Monica (biological sisters who are a year apart in age), on National Adoption Day through Child Crisis Arizona.
A Grandson Too
Today, all the children are for the most part grown, but Susan and Patrick have recently adopted their grandson, also named Patrick. Their oldest son, William, and his wife began to struggle with taking care of their son. Knowing that the situation may only get worse for their grandchild, Patrick and Susan went to Child Crisis Arizona to see what they could do. It was a long process, but thanks to Patrick’s prior knowledge of foster care in court systems and Child Crisis Arizona’s guidance, they were able to finalize the adoption in February 2017.
As they sat for coffee at the kitchen counter, Patrick described the couple’s experience with adoption, and how they have attempted to better the lives of their children. One issue they feel very strongly about is the children who are part of the foster care system, and perceptions some people may have that cause them to fear adopting those children.
Who Is To Blame?
“The kids aren’t messed up; it’s the adults,” Patrick said. “There may be minor issues, but they’re not nut jobs. The message I wish people knew more: Kids are just kids. To be a foster parent or adopt them would be a fantastic thing.”
Over the last 20 years, Patrick said he has reflected on his own biological parents. He did some serious thinking and came up with his own philosophical approach to how children become adults. He wrote it down and hands it out to individuals who listen to him speak.
“Every child is delivered to Earth as a computer, either as an IBM or an Apple. Some very business-like and others very creative.
As the child grows, they are exposed to software programs that help them run the computer hard drive. The rest of us in society become their operating software. With apps like the Parent app, Grandparent app, Teach App, Bus Drive app, Clergy app, Coach app, Sibling app, etc., the child begins to run beneficial algorithms and software to accomplish life on their own. “However, during the age of adolescence, the child is affected by malware (Teenager virus) that throw out the good software and replace it with junk files the child finds to be fun. Most of us delete that junk around the age of 25 to 30 and reboot to the beneficial software of our parents. A few remain entertained by the software and continue with the junk file and simply never reboot.
“However, other children start with junk software (during cases of abuse or neglect) as the foundation of their first operating system. As adults, when they reboot, they go back to the junk instead of taking advantage of the beneficial software offered to them in society. Those adults continue the cycle of bad software that, once uploaded into the mind of a child, is very difficult to remove from the hard drive.
“So, if you have a chance to be beneficial software for any child, please know the investment uploading you program and values will pay dividends when the child reboots.”
The Ryans openly admit all of their children had less than “Disneyesque” starts.
“But they’re very well grounded,” Patrick said, even though their first child is having problems.
Their first child, adopted when he was seven, is going through a rough patch in his life. And it is his first child, their grandson, the Ryans adopted in February. Their second, third and fourth adopted children were described by Patrick as being “three very good, awesome people.”
All have good jobs and maintain good relationships with cousins and uncles within the community. The Ryans’ fifth adoption, their grandson, just turned 5 in September and attends preschool.
The Ryans have lived in Peoria 24 years, and 16 years at their present location. They talk openly about their children, where they came from, how they became part of the Ryan household.
“We’re here. The time we’re with the kids, give values, understanding and love, and hope some of it sticks,” Patrick said. “Child Crisis Arizona gave us the opportunity to be parents, and we’re very thankful for that.”
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