When parental dreams meet reality

It’s Friday on public radio, so this is a test of your tear duct system again.

Start with this photograph provided by Bill Jones, who tells StoryCorps of his son.


Every father has got a picture like this, from a time when dreams were big.

Aaron, the boy above, was turned down by five families before Jones agreed to adopt him. But first he decided not to.

“You know, children know when they’ve been rejected. So, I found myself down at FAO Schwarz. I had bought a teddy bear. I went back to the adoption agency and I said, ‘I want to give a present to that kid.’ Aaron heard my voice and came running across the room and threw his arms around my legs. And I just cried.”

His son was schizophrenic.

“Every day was a struggle with him,” Jones tells StoryCorps. “Except that he was a loving, sweet person.”

He died of a drug overdose at 30.

It’s the story of the collision between the dreams we have and the reality we have to accept.

  1. Listen StoryCorps: Pain, But No Regrets: A Father Remembers His Adopted Son

    February 20, 2015

  • Jack

    “His son was schizophrenic.”
    What is schizophrenia, Bob?

    • Google is your friend, Jack.

      • Suzanne

        Thank you for posting this. There are no guarantees life will unfold the way you want it to. You just have to do the best with what you have…and love.

      • Jack

        Why do you keep deleting my comments Bob? (Nominal Bob that is).
        The retort you commonly use about real names is an article in itself on mental health.
        As Kassie stated maybe a month ago, it’s not safe.

        • Because they have nothing to do with the post. If you have an observation about the post, make it.

          And drop the nominal Bob stuff.

          • Jack

            There are several comments for each blog post you write that never get deleted that are written by others that have nothing to do with the piece written. I will leave it at that.
            My comment has much to do with your piece. I am referring to stigma and label and the outcome of that.
            In small minded communities a derogatory label, rooted in youth can grow and manifest in horrific ways, especially if those labels are focused on verses other talents and skill sets of the individual.

            It would be interesting to know the circumstances and the environment of the first 5 families that rejected him. I am convinced environment can create mental illness.
            Maybe a better question would be how people treat others when their mental health becomes public knowledge.

          • I”ll handle the blog moderation, Jack, and you can concentrate on adding perspective on the subject .

            To your point, are you saying the diagnosis is a stigma?

          • Jack

            I am saying that the label itself can stigmatize and make life more difficult.

            As you snarked (your term, not mine) earlier, Google is my best friend, yes if you look on Google you get a garden variety of symptoms that could be used as a label for just about anyone you meet or better yet, your peers at MPR, right?
            Take this hit on Google for example http://www.medicinenet.com/schizophrenia_pictures_slideshow/article.htm

            This is only one description of many, btw and not the sole answer. My point is that a label can cause more harm than what is actually happening with the patient.
            Does this article bring tears to my eyes? Yes it does but for the reason that these types of endings can be totally avoided. Small minded communities can cause great harm.