Almost everyone thinks of their childhood as a time when they are surrounded by love and taught how to live in the world by compassionate and understanding people.
When I reflect on my youth, I am reminded of the great sacrifices my parents made for me. They showered me with affection, made certain I felt secure and protected at all times, and promised me that regardless of what happened, I would always have my family by my side.
Regrettably, this cannot be said of every youngster. Specific individuals are born into families where they are treated as an afterthought. Some are mistreated, while others are abused.
This was the case with Anthony, a little boy abandoned by his birth parents and adoptive parents. Fortunately, Anthony now has a new father who loves him. Still, his story is full of twists and turns and, if not for one man’s kindness, could have ended very differently.
Credit / Peter M – LoveWhatMatters
The gentleman in question is Peter M, who shared the poignant story of how he came to be Anthony’s guardian and father with LoveWhatMatters.
During his early years, Anthony was taken into foster care and lived with other kids in the neighborhood. When he was 4, he was taken in by a family in Oklahoma who lived there and raised him. Six years after he was adopted, he was rushed to and taken to a hospital near where he lived. They were never seen again or talked about again.
“They never came back to get the son who called them Mom and Dad for years,” Peter told LoveWhatMatters.
“All the promises of an eternal family were shattered, and this young kid was left alone, abandoned, fearful, and emotionally crushed. Worse yet, he had no idea when or if they would ever return for him because he was not privy to their plot to abandon their child. Most people could not fathom a parent doing this to their child, yet this was not their first time. You know, they had done the exact same thing to their second adoptive son a few years prior.”
Credit/Peter M – LoveWhatMatters
Peter had been taking care of two brothers, ages four and ten, at the same time. He says that they changed his view of life and taught him a lot about love.
“They were truly in my heart,” Peter wrote in his letter. Boys and their parents were helped as best I could during the seven months they were with me and until the Family Court decided that reuniting with their birth parents was OK. I did my best to help them and their parents. An hour after I arrived in court, everything happened. In order to become a foster parent, many people had to do a lot of work. The boys had taken up so much of my heart, and I didn’t know how to say goodbye. The next hour-long drive home was very moving. I was very sad. The people who had been in my life for a long time made me cry a lot of the time. While it was lovely for them to see their parents again, I was excited for the whole family when I thought about how wonderful it would be.
Then, only four days after bidding his final farewells to the boys, Peter received a call from his social workers asking if he could take in an 11-year-old boy for the weekend.
On the other hand, Peter doubted his ability to care for another child so soon after being separated from the siblings he had loved and cared for.
During the back-and-forth, he kept saying that he needed more time to grieve. Finally, she convinced him to accept the child, telling him that it was only for the weekend, he said. When she talked to me, she had a way of convincing me that this child was the right one for the right time. Boy was she right, especially in this case.
Credit / Peter M – LoveWhatMatters
I refrained from inquiring why he was in foster care. I couldn’t take any more heartstring-tugging and didn’t want to become attached while still hurting from my bereavement. I resolved that if the placement lasted longer than the two nights agreed upon, I would simply refuse to let him remain any longer out of fear of being attached again and succumbing to the loss and pain. Not to mention that I had not taken a break in seven months, during which time I fostered three children. I required at least a month or two to refuel.
At 3:00 a.m., the social worker arrived at my house after driving two hours from another county inside the state. Due to a severe lack of foster homes in Oklahoma, social workers are frequently obliged to transfer children outside of their county of origin, often taking them from the only home they have ever known. Add to it that older children are significantly more challenging to place, and the social worker found herself with no other options.
I didn’t want to know why he was in foster care. I was very strict about not getting attached to any other kids until I was ready. Then, 20 minutes later, he asked if he could call me “Dad,” and I told him that was fine. What? I didn’t know what he was called. As for calling him “Dad,” he said that was what he wanted. When you were in foster care, most kids would tell you right away that you were not and never will be their father. This child I’d just met didn’t say that. First, I thought, “No! No! No!” I told him he was only staying with me for two days, so he didn’t need to call me “Dad.” ”
By Monday morning, Peter had worked up the nerve to question the social worker about Anthony’s placement in foster care. When he learned the entire story – how Anthony had been abandoned twice in his brief life – he began to cry.
“I was completely taken aback!” he exclaimed.
“I was speechless at what I was hearing. I burst into tears with rage at what these adults had done to this 11-year-old youngster.”
According to LoveWhatMatters, he stated, “I had no idea such a thing existed at all.” I later discovered that this is referred to as a ‘failed adoption.’ After nearly a decade, the parents were allowed to return their adopted kid to the state’s custody as if she were a disposable object. This shattered my heart into a million fragments. How could a human person, let alone a child, be abandoned in such a manner? How could they walk away without a desire to see or hear him again after all these years?” As I sat there hopelessly crying, I inquired, ‘Where will they take him?’ I was informed that because there were no family members to contact and no foster homes available, he would be leaving my home and entering a group home. That was not going to happen.
Credit / Peter M – LoveWhatMatters’Mr. Peter, can I call you my Dad?’
“I refused to allow him to be abandoned once more. Furthermore, he was already addressing me as ‘Dad.’ I requested a placement letter from the social worker to enrol him in school the following day. She questioned me about a hundred times whether I was serious, and we both burst out laughing. I promised her that she would never again have to worry about where his food, shelter, or affection would come from. I was prepared to refer to me as ‘Dad’ for as long as he desired.
On November 12th, I finally shared my surname with the young guy who is now legally my son. This is the greatest blessing I have had in my life. It’s been an incredible journey. I’ve fostered eleven children over the last three years, and Anthony has been there every step of the way. He has read over 500 books in the previous 19 months and has met some incredible friends at church, school, and foster community. I’m continually impressed with his fortitude and optimism in the face of adversity.”
Wow! This is such an endearing story of love and care. We are overjoyed that Anthony finally has a father figure.