My wife and I are each in our early 50s and are about to adopt a four and six year old brother and sister. We have three bio-daughters. The eldest married with a three year old son. The middle widowed (Afghanistan, that’s another story for another day) and they have a seventeen month old boy. Youngest (bio) daughter working two jobs and going to a local community college (one of the jobs is in her career field).
We know the family where our “new kids” came from. Their bio parents just wore their family down with promises of we will quit doing….. we will get our life on track, etc. The family was so put off by these two that when it came time for Social Services to remove the (then) two and four year old the grandmother actually said to either put them in foster care or in the orphanage up state. The mom to check if we would take them before they did that. Originally it was only supposed to be for a few months but as time went on we talked to our girls and we all agreed adoption is what the Lord would have for us to do in this season of our life. Now keep in mind we received these children under the state’s safety plan. Which means our home is a safe place and we don’t get any money from any one. So automatically we need to come up with money for pullups, wipes, extra food and all the things young children need. The big one was the $800 a month in child care! Ouch!
We originally got involved with the family when our church called when the now six year old was four months old and said that since my wife is out of school for the summer and they (the church) know that we all have a heart for small children would we help this guy out with his baby for the summer. So we would go and pick her up at 6:15sh and bring her back in the evening about the same time. Some times we would keep her over night and on weekends. Not only to give him a break but we had come to love the little girl.
Eventually we learned that the reason he had the baby on his own was because when mom was pregnant with the baby she got drunk and ran over a guy and killed him! What a beginning for this little girl! So mom get’s out of prison when the girl is two, they seem to get their act together, get married, start going to church, start sayining all the things people want to hear, she gets pregnant and dang if the little boy isn’t born addicted to drugs!! But I guess that’s not a big deal they because let her take the baby home under the supervision of the dad. Unbelieveable. What do you think would have happened if these two children were little puppies?
Anyway, the father says he didn’t even know the mother was doing drugs (he should make a good supervisor) so he is a bit ticked off. He won’t have anything to do with the little infant and I think he spent most of his first two yearsof his life in either his crib or play pen. That is complete speculation on my part. But I have been around a bunch of two year olds and when he came to us he was very withdrawn, walked with his head down and barely made any sounds much less speak.
The bio parents have not passed a drug test in three years and both were convicted (again) of domestic abuse in October of 07. But if you ask them they will tell you “I love my kids”. Okay, really. I guess I can throw in the reason Social Services finally decided to remove the children is because mom got caught driving drunk with the kids in the car! Heck, she’s already killed one person driving drunk! Now she has the kids in the car drunk!!! I mean what does it take? But she loves her kids.
Anyway, I will give the mother a little bit of credit… but just a little. A couple of weeks ago she relinquished her parental rights. No one has heard from dad in quite some time. He hasn’t been around much since the judge ordered him to take his pay stub down and sign up for child support. That was October of 06. But he loves his kids too.
We go to court on July, 31 for a trial to decide if the dad’s parental rights will be terminated. Everyone says it looks like a slam dunk, but I guess you never know.
As I look back over this last twenty-six or so months I can see God’s faithful hand. As sad as it is, for some reason it”s easier to recognise His faithfulness when it comes to finances. How sad is that? Coming up with the extra eight hundred dollars a month for child care in those early months was a challenge but it was always there. I remember that first Christmas someone walked up to me at church and handed me a check for four hundred dollars and said they wanted to make sure the kids had a good Christmas. I knew what he meant so I didn’t go into my spill about what Christmas was all about. Then some time in 07 the transmission in my wife’s Buick Regal went out. So since my son-in-law had also been killed in action in Afghanistan that same year she began driving his Dodge truck. It sucked the gas. You will never believe what happened next. These people we know, who by most standards are a bit affluent had an 02 Chrystler Town and Country with AM/FM/CD/DVD/PLAY STATION II/monitors in the head rests, a thirteen inch TV that folds down from the ceiling, leather and wood trim throughout with less than seventeen thousand miles… they gave it to us!! Well that’s not EXACTLY true. My dad died about eight years previous to this and we had just gotten back (I mean within two weeks) from the six hundred something miles one way trip to visit my mom. Since my dad’s estate was in Louisiana and their law is different it took some time to settle the estate. I have five siblings so after all was said and done my part of my dad’s estate was eight hundred twenty-four dollars. Before these people gave us the Chrystler Town and Country they said something like, “We want to give you guys the van but we have had some work done on it at the dealer (they were going to sell it) and if you can come up with the money to pay the dealer we will give you the van. Guess how much the dealer bill was? Eight hundred dollars exactly… but it needed gas so we put the other twenty dollars in the tank!
Honestly, at times I do wonder… what do people who retire do with their lives? There is so much excitement and challenges in raising children.
After all what did Jesus say, “Let the little ones come unto Me.” (my paraphrase)
Someone once said, “God’s will done God’s way has God’s provision”.
We pray that He continues to provide and that we do our best to hear His voice and too be obediant to it.