July 30's NBC Nightly News featured a story on Joseph Democko, a 23-year-old man who became a foster parent to his three nephews at the age of 20, and adopted them last September. People magazine also featured him in the July 9 issue.
Democko's story is a sharp contrast to the news reports about young
Neither NBC nor People used this story as a vehicle to bemoan the holes in
Democko told People and NBC that “The social worker told me, straight to my face, men can hardly take care of themselves, let alone take care of a child. What makes you think you can do it?” But somebody had to do it -- the boys' mother, Democko's twin sister, is battling drug addiction.
By attending parenting classes, taking Chris to doctor's appointments and finding a job that allowed him to be home with the boys during the day, Democko convinced social workers he was able to accept responsibility for raising the boys.
It's easy to think of today's younger generation as self-indulgent train wrecks waiting to happen, especially because we're continually shown images of twentysomethings like Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton. But hearing stories about people like Democko, whose wish for his nephews is that they don't have a “hard life and grow up quick like [he] did,” restores hope.