Adoption completes this family
November is National Adoption Month – a time to bring attention and awareness of the need for permanent families for children and youth. Following is Part I in a series of local families who have opened their homes and hearts by adopting a child.
By BRENDA HARRISON Editor of The News Journal Florence, S.C.
Keith and Coleman Buckhouse were blessed with two beautiful little girls, but Coleman had a desire for a son to complete their family. She had not thought much about adoption, until one of her sorority sisters adopted a young boy from Russia.
The idea of adoption took root in her heart.
She began checking into the international adoption process with the request for a boy over a year old.
Her husband was a little unsure about this process, she said, until they received a photo of this cute little Russian boy, 13 months old. They immediately knew he was the son they were missing.
Eventually, the Buckhouses flew to St. Petersburg, Russia, to meet this little blonde-headed boy. Warned that the children in the orphanage had little contact with men, they were prepared that he may be afraid of Keith.
Not so with Eddie – he immediately crawled in Keith’s lap and his new dad was smitten. They have been close buddies every since.
The couple spent two weeks with the boy who would become their son before bringing him to his new home in Florence. At that time he was 18 months old. They named him Edward Joseph Buckhouse.
“I knew this was in God’s hands. This was so right,” Coleman remembers feeling. His official adoption date is March 28, 2001, a date celebrated by the family each year as his Got Cha Day.
Before traveling to Russia, Coleman purchased a heavy coat to prepare for the cold weather. She hasn’t needed it since returning to our mild climate, but friends who also adopted Russian children have borrowed her coat.
“It has become my traveling coat,” Coleman quipped, noting that it kept three of her friends warm in Russia. These include Courtney Sullivan and Michelle Jones, who also adopted children.
Many families in Florence have adopted from Russia, but today Russia no longer allows international adoptions. Eddie didn’t speak much when he came to America, but he soon learned English. Baby Net, a state-supported DHEC early intervention program provided speech therapy and language development assistance. Eddie learned quickly and his language skills came easily, Coleman said.
At age three, he was required to undergo testing by Florence School District 1 and Coleman remembers he did well on everything until it came to his colors. They held up a blue card and he said red, a green one and he said blue, etc. But when shown an orange card, Eddie said “yucky.” When the parents explained they were USC graduates, the tester scored him a correct answer for that one, his mom remembers.
Eddie’s sisters, Daisy and Emery, were excited to meet him and quickly embraced their new little brother. Like most older sisters, they have enjoyed teasing and “messing” with him, he said.
Although Daisy has completed college and is working in Greenville and Emery is a senior at USC, they are very close siblings.
The sisters made sure he learned how to dance, teaching him themselves, noted Keith.
Eddie as a youngster was all boy, Coleman recalls. She remember installing outlet covers on all the electrical outlets in her home. Her girls never messed with them, she said, but one day, not long after bringing him home, she found him with a screwdriver trying to take it apart. He also loved to climb and found ways to explore including the tall kitchen cabinets.
However, she continued, “Eddie has been such a blessing. Besides being such an easy going person, he is very studious and self-motivated...We never had to push him to complete his schoolwork. He does well academically.”
“Eddie is competitive,” added his father. “He excels in sports.”
He plays both soccer and football at Trinity-Byrnes Collegiate School where he is a senior. However, an injury keeps him off the field right now.
Eddie is captain of his high school soccer team, and he is Homecoming King, student body president and a member of the honor society.
Asked about his competitiveness, Eddie explained, “I want to have good grades.”
Also, he hates to lose, added his father.
Following the members of his family, Eddie plans to attend USC in the fall, possibly majoring in computer science or engineering.
Perhaps his early attempt to investigate the interworks of an electrical outlet was an indication of his future career path.