Severo Avila

Severo Avila is Features Editor at the Rome News-Tribune.

Last week county commissioner Scotty Hancock and his wife, Berry College employee Ronda Hancock, posted to social media that they had just finished an IMPACT FCP pre-service training program.

The program is used to prepare prospective foster and adoptive families for their new role and to expose them to the basic skills needed to begin providing foster and adoptive care.

Well first of all I thought that was pretty cool. The Hancocks have a daughter in college and a son in high school so it’s very generous of them to want to open their home to a child or children who need them.

Especially given the great need for foster families in Floyd County, I thought they were setting a great example for other local families who might consider doing the same thing.

And in the spirit of community service, I would like to volunteer to be the Hancocks’ first adoptee. Not for any benefit to myself, of course, but more to give them some practice in adoption — preparing them for whatever they might come across in the future.

I’ve compiled a list of pros and cons of adopting Severo. The Hancocks are free to use this list to weigh their options. But I advise them to not take too long in making a decision since after this column is published I’m sure there’ll be a host of local families fighting each other to adopt me:


— You don’t have to worry about potty training me. I’m fully house broken.

— You don’t have to pay for college or grad school. Both have been paid for.

— I have my own car already so y’all don’t need to go out and buy me another one unless you really want to. And if you do, then I’ll take a white Volvo SUV.

— I can be left home alone. You won’t need to find me a babysitter if you have WiFi and snacks.

— I’m already gainfully employed.

— I love to travel in case y’all need some alone time. But you’ll have to foot the bill for all my travel expenses.

— I love dogs. And y’all have a dog. So that works out.

— I can be taught to do light chores around the house in exchange for TV and electronics privileges.

— I can absolutely be bribed to take one side or the other when y’all have an argument.

— I fully understand that being a member of the Hancock family will automatically bring me under the protection of the Lindale mafia but will require me to keep its secrets. I’m ok with that.

— I’m 100 percent willing to have my name legally changed to Scotland Hancock Jr.


— I fully expect to be put on y’alls phone plan AND auto insurance policy.

— I eat a LOT so we as a family unit will be spending a lot of money on fast food and will be making several trips to Bojangles throughout the week.

— I do NOT cook so I can’t be expected to have dinner ready when y’all get home from work. I CAN turn the crockpot OFF if there’s like a roast in it or something, but that’s about it.

— I don’t do yardwork so y’all shouldn’t expect me to cut the grass. I can stand on the porch and let him know when he missed a spot but even that’s iffy when the weather’s too hot.

— I will expect a sizeable monthly allowance which will allow me to remain in the lifestyle to which I have been made accustomed.

— I don’t do those family photos where everyone dresses the same.

As y’all can see, the pros of adopting me far outweigh the cons. I assume it’s just a matter of time before I’m contacted by DFACS and they tell me I can move it to the Hancock residence.

But in all seriousness, the foster situation in our county is a grave one. There are too many children who need fostering and not nearly enough families willing to do so.

If you are willing (and able) to foster, please consider doing so. You can make a huge difference in the lives of children who desperately need not only a roof over their heads and healthy meals, but they need people to care about them and to worry about them and to love them and to respect them. They need a family.

Thank you to all our local families who foster and adopt for the right reasons. You’re doing the Lord’s work.

Severo Avila is features editor for the Rome News-Tribune.