We continued praying and waiting and then we got the call. They were wondering if we would take someone younger. After talking it over we agreed to give it a try and an 18 month old little boy named Eli came to our house. My older son had hoped for someone his age, and even though we were all hoping that was the case, we believe God brought him into our house for a reason.
Our Foster son, Eli in his short span of 4 years has lived with us longer then he has lived with anyone else in his life. He too had parents who should not have been together and had a child. His biological mother in her adolescence became addicted to crack and heroine thanks to her own mom, he gave it to her to deal with peer pressure. Because of her mom and her choices they had been in the system for years. Her attempts at getting clean, sober and changing her life have been minimal. His biological father came from a broken home as well, with a father that chose to leave and left this young man to give up on school and attempt to make something of himself. His choices were sleeping around and getting girls pregnant and taking no responsibility for his children. He to also has been involved with drugs and alcohol as well as physical and verbal abuse and has spent time in jail as a result of this. Both of our son’s biological parents have continued to make poor choices and neither one of them is even 25 yet. Their own brokenness joined together was toxic; bringing a child into this world they were not ready for and did not have the means to properly take care of.
His biological mom did drugs while she was pregnant with him. He was born addicted to crack and heroine. It took him 3 months to detox. The mom continued to engage in drugs, somehow managing to hide her drug addiction from the father. Our foster son too was exposed to drugs, not only being drug addicted but as a little guy having to go to the ER for blistering his hand after he picked up a crack pipe. DHS finally checked into the situation. One day the dad came home to find the mom strung out and Eli walking around in soiled diapers, he beat her up and she took off and went into hiding. The Dad’s mom tried to step in and help out and was later told by her son, take care of him or I will take him and you will never see him again. Grandma placed him in Foster Care to protect him from his father.
We weren’t planning on adopting him at first, however because he is so darn cute and loves to cuddle and just makes your heart melt, it became clear quickly that he was meant to be a part of our family. We’ve been going through the motions to adopt him through the state. This makes it easier and does not provide a financial hardship for us as the state pays for all of it. We’ve been to court on several occasions and had battles with family members. We’ve watched as the Dad slowly did himself in by continuing in his patterns/behaviors and had his parental rights permanently terminated. The mom on the other hand got herself into a safe house and was moving forward with trying to get her life together and we weren’t exactly sure what was going to happen. However, unfortunately for the mom she went back to what she had always chosen and made it clear to the rest of us. I remember sitting in court watching her cry and plead to have her rights kept in place. They gave her one last chance and she wasn’t willing to do it, so she ended up having her rights terminated.
The adoption was to be finalized in November of 2010, because everything was not in order by various parties it’s still in process. We’ve patiently waited it out and continued to pray everything would go in our favor so that piece of paper could be signed making it official.
This is God’s design for our family. He put our family together. In a way my prayer for twins has been answered. Our two youngest are only 6 months apart. Eli being the older. Basically this is the only life they know. It’s also nice because of the age gap between our older 4 and the younger two. The older 4 have each other and the younger 2 have each other to play with and hang out with while the older kids are at school.
Accepting Eli and welcoming him to our family was a bit easier than Hope. I’m not sure exactly why that is, but I know that I love this little guy with all my heart and he is my son. I love to come home and hear him call out my name and jump up into my lap and give me a hug and kiss. I love to sit and talk with him as he plays with my hair and tells me he’s my boy and loves me.
I firmly believe there is a reason each person is on this earth and they are designed by God with value and purpose. I do not believe that God makes mistakes or that anyone is a mistake. In fact I hate it when people refer to children as mistakes or surprises. No matter what the circumstances I believe every life is valuable and important and maybe because of what happened you can’t deal with is, but there are plenty of other wonderful loving folks who want and will take care of a child lovingly, responsibly and correctly.
So I wrote this because I know what I have saved these two children from. Now granted 6 kids is a lot and some people judge us and think because we don’t have a lot of money we shouldn’t be raising a large family. My wife has had really horrible comments made towards her in the grocery store by other people because of the number of children we have. I have had people make humorous jokes about my family needing a bus to get around, or that when we leave someplace half of the room empties out. Some of these are actually quite funny and I know the pros and cons to having a large family. My wife and I we have never looked at it that way. We both wanted a large family and we are both happy with it this way. We don’t believe that we need to have lots of money to make it. We see things from a different perspective and know where our values lie.
I have saved my children from deadbeat dads who can’t hold down jobs. Dad’s who won’t or can’t man up and be responsible men, most likely because they didn’t have good role models of their own. Dad’s who live at home with their own parents because they can’t make it on their own. Dad’s, who think it’s okay to go sleeping around with women, get them pregnant and then take no responsibility for that child. Dad’s who put their needs above their own children and are more concerned with themselves than their own child. Dad’s who can barely function to get by in life, lack no social skills and would rather hide then face things that need to be dealt with. Mom’s who have abused and neglected their children. Mom’s who have put their own children in harm’s way because they are dealing with their own addictions. Moms’ who are spiteful and just want to get the dad back so they use their child as a pawn. Mom’s who manipulate others and exert power and control over family members. Mom’s who disrespect and degrade themselves in the name of “love” to find a man who will take care of them, only to find out this deadbeat is just like all the rest and you were just a pawn in his game. Parent’s who have incredibly poor boundaries and don’t like to be held accountable for anything. Parent’s who fool people, even their own family members into believing they have changed and are different. Parent’s that will lie, cheat, steal and are willing to give up their child just to make it in life.
These are all the things our youngest two would be facing and dealing with had we not rescued them from the pits of hell. These two precious children who we love and see no difference from our own biological children in would quickly be caught up in the same dysfunctional repeated patterns of their parents and see this as a normal way of life. If they were lucky enough to survive to adulthood they would most likely think this is an okay way of life and that there was nothing wrong with it. It’s all they would know and somehow they would adjust to this type of life.
I work in this same type of system and I am all to familiar with how all of this happens and how women have a hard time breaking out of the cycles of abuse and I don’t deny that to be true. I know there are circumstances beyond our control that shape us. I know all of this so well. It’s actually very saddening to see all the evil and wicked things in this world especially when it comes to children. I know there are children out there dealing with much worse than my kids and that some never even make it. Their precious little lives are cut short at the hands of the very people who are supposed to protect and take care of them.
All my life I wanted to be a parent. I knew that going into parenting I was going to make mistakes and do something at some point that would cause some type of wound. I also knew that I valued life and knowing that I had a huge responsibility in becoming a parent and I better have my stuff together because the life of this child was dependent on me.
My kids are amazing and wonderful and I am forever grateful to God for giving me the opportunity to be a Papa. I highly regard being a parent as one of the most important roles in the world. My kids come first and everything I do with my life is about making sure they have the very best I can give them and they are taken care of. Parenting is serious business and I don’t believe it’s for everyone, especially if you aren’t wiling to stretch yourself in ways you never imagined.
I am no great person, but I do believe that each person is capable of greatness. The greatest thing I will ever do is being a parent. My legacy lives on through my children (biological or adopted). My wife and I can’t rescue all the children but I feel good knowing that there are 2 fewer children who don’t have to suffer at the hands of their parents any longer.