Our Story

In November of 2005, the school psychologist came to me and asked if I would take a student into my second-grade class.  His name was Andrew and his current teacher was unable to handle him.  She told me that he was intelligent, but dying on the vine.  It turned out that Andrew had multiple issues.  He couldn’t remain seated for any length of time, didn’t read, fought often, and God help the kid next to him if he had a pencil or any other sharp object!

Andrew did, however, prove to be very intelligent.  He caught on quickly and responded to structure.  In mid-March of 2006, Andrew was called from class to receive the news that his mother had died.  Andrew’s father had disappeared before he was born.  Andrew was now an orphan.

Andrew had four uncles, but none of them were able to take on the responsibility of a child.  At last, the oldest uncle took him in.  Uncle Angel was in his mid-sixties, had multiple health issues, illegal, and did not speak  English.  Although his heart was in the right place, his abilities failed and the state was getting ready to take Andrew into the foster system.

Again, the psychologist came to tell me the bad news.  Our friendship had deepened and she wondered out loud if I would ever consider adopting Andrew.   Not only had I considered it, I felt deeply that I was supposed to be Andrew’s father.  Unfortunately, there were many obstacles in my way that prohibited me from stepping in.  Namely, I was in a relationship with someone who wanted nothing to do with a child, living in a house that was under major reconstruction, and in the midst of getting a master’s degree.  I was so upset that I wasn’t able to take Andrew that I even looked to my friends to take him in.  One of those friends came close and even met Andrew.  As he got closer to making a decision, I was deeply disturbed by the pounding in my heart that it was I who should be Andrew’s father.   That evening, I got on my knees and prayed.

“Dear God,   I hear you loud and clear. I know that I’m supposed to be Andrew’s father.  There are so many obstacles in the way, not the least of which is my relationship.  But if you open the door, I will walk through it.”

That prayer was on a Thursday night.  On Sunday morning, I woke up single.  It was unforeseen, unprovoked, and a complete surprise.  I walked into the school on Monday morning and announced to the psychologist that I would be taking Andrew.

By Friday, Andrew was living with me.  Within two weeks I had temporary custody.  Within another month, I was Andrew’s legal guardian and father.

When I got Andrew he was addicted to fast food, exhibited signs of ADHD, and possible spectrum disorder.  He didn’t know how to use a fork or a knife, barely read, and couldn’t be left alone.  Most importantly, he had been through hell.  Within a year’s time he had lost his mother, been physically abused by one uncle, and taken in by another only to lose him soon after.  He had been living in a studio apartment with no kitchen and a bathroom that they shared with other tenants.   And he still hadn’t cried since his mother’s death.

If I had understood the responsibility I had taken on, it may not have happened.  I suppose it’s like that for every new parent.  And like all the parents before me, I did what was needed to be done:  I fed him.

This blog is the story of how one meal led to another and how many meals led to great healing…for Andrew and for me.


{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Jennifer January 18, 2011 at 5:52 am

Don, this blog looks delicious. Congrats on getting it up and with such style. I am excited for you.


Dean Alioto February 7, 2011 at 10:28 pm

Don, I think since you became a teacher you have been adopting children. Truly Amazing journey you are on!


Dolly Sanders February 23, 2011 at 8:42 pm

This is fantastic. Andrew has grown so much. My love to you both.

Miss Dolly


Yvette McNally April 9, 2011 at 8:06 pm

Hi Don – we just met at my store on Pico. This story is amazing and i am going to take some time reading and catching up – might even cook us some meals:)

Look forward to reading and meeting with you again



Donald Wilson April 10, 2011 at 8:24 pm


What a pleasure to meet you yesterday. After we left your wonderful store, I felt such a pleasure in being a part of this community. Thank you for reading the blog. I’m happy you enjoyed it. I’m looking forward to Friday night at your store. I have a big test on Saturday morning, but am going to stop by for the event.


Billy Jayne April 14, 2011 at 11:18 pm

Amazing. Single dads rock!


Super Frugalette June 29, 2011 at 1:41 am

I have tears in my eyes. Thank you for sharing and continuing to share your story.


Sergio November 1, 2011 at 4:11 am

Eres una inspiración Don. Gracias por compartir ésto. Impresionante. Algún día tendré la oportunidad de conocer a Andrew 🙂 y verte de nuevo 🙂


Jenni August 2, 2012 at 1:17 am

Oh, Don. So beautiful and inspiring! Thank you. I can’t wait to share this with my friend who is also a single, adoptive parent of a child who was formerly being cared for by the state (he was a student of mine a few years ago).


Stephanie Schroeder November 11, 2013 at 7:59 pm

Don – I never knew the story of your son until reading this today. It put tears in my eyes. I remember feeling God tap me on the shoulder and tell me it was time to adopt a baby. Little did I know, my daughter Grace’s birthmother was 12 weeks pregnant at the time. I began researching adoption and immediately knew my baby was in Ethiopia. I sailed feverishly through the paperwork so I could go get her. I brought her home almost a year to the day after I got that tap on the shoulder. When you know, you know.


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