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Growing into family; North Mississippi family adopts foster child of three years

June 3, 2010

Marqavius, center, and the Bruce family following adoption proceedings at Marshall County Court.

The way the Bruces speak of Marqavius, he was already a member of the family.

It just wasn’t official.

But on a windy Monday morning in Holly Springs, his foster parents, Marvin and Linda Bruce, adopted Marqavius.

The Bruces were reluctant foster parents.

They have two birth children. One’s at college and the younger is 14. But a friend of the family involved in foster care talked them into it.

“The first two weeks were great,” Marvin said prior to the adoption proceedings.

“But then, the real Marqavius stepped up.”

Affectionately called “Qua,” pronounced “quay,” by his family and counselors, Marqavius was physically aggressive and often suspended from school for fighting.

With the loving support of the Bruces and his Youth Villages counselor, the 16-year-old slowly learned how to trust.

He became more involved in school activities and learned that aggressive behavior would result in restrictions of things he wanted to do.

“You grow to love someone, and that’s what happened with Qua,” Linda said. “He made a real turnaround, and he’s part of the family now.”

Marqavius is keeping his family name.

He didn’t say much the morning of the adoption proceedings other than “yes, sir” and “yes, ma’am,” but his charismatic smile said enough.

“I’m happy,” he said. “They taught me a lot. I realized it’s better to do right.”

A few moments later, a “yes, sir” to the judge made the adoption official.

Marqavius is a cornerback for his high school football team and a member of the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps.

He reads the announcements during church, sings in the youth choir and is a member of the drama club.

At first, neither the Bruces nor Marqavius wanted adoption, but as time passed, it began to be a discussion topic.

“Qua’s been in the foster program for about 10 years,” said Young Anderson, Youth Villages foster care counselor. “We need more families to step up like the Bruces. I’m so happy for Qua and his new family.”

“Now, we need Qua, and we’re glad he’s part of the family,” Marvin said.

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