Essays: Bound By Love
Tomas Hardin, the 9th of 11 children from a poor, violent family, was shaken as a three month old, causing blindness and brain damage. Relegated to a state institution, he was put into the foster care system, where he stayed for 6 years before he was adopted by Zina Hardin. Tomas was unable to talk or walk, confined to a wheelchair and staring at a blank wall when Zina first saw him at the state foster care facility. Zina adopted Tomas into her home which included a down syndrome sister and a ADHD younger brother. Tomas has since thrived in the Hardin home, he now walks and eats on his own, and is attending a specialized school where learns life skills. "I had three wishes for Tomas when I adopted him", Zina said, "For him to walk by himself, for him to be able to drink from a straw, and for him to one day become Governor of New York".