“I risked it all for a child in need.
I finally got my foster care license 4 weeks ago; I was absolutely thrilled after 12 months of waiting for the process to be done. It was during the start of the Covid-19 lockdown, so I knew the chances of placement or respite were close to none. All offices were closed and every family had been in lockdown for almost two weeks. Three weeks ago, I got a phone call from my new social workers around 10 a.m. asking me if I could take in a 7-year-old old boy. I was a little shocked, but listened to why they needed me to take him in during this lockdown.
I was a little taken back for a few reasons. First, we had been in quarantine at this point for more than 2 weeks and I could not imagine taking in someone we had no clue where he had been or who he had been in contact with. I felt I had done everything possible to protect me and my son from this virus and taking in a child didn’t seem like the right thing to do for my family. So much was going through my mind, wondering why was this little boy needed a home, what happened to his family, and what would happen if they couldn’t find a place for him to be? All I could think was about the ‘what ifs.’ I knew I had to go to my son and share with him about the phone call from the social worker and hear his thoughts.
My son was playing video games when I shared with him the news about a possible placement, to which he said, ‘How old is he?’ I replied that he was 7. Anthony said, ‘Well he is probably going to be annoying and nagging, but he can play games with me. Can he go biking with me when comes?’ It was heartwarming to know he was thrilled to share all he had with him, and in his mind, he knew we would have to take him in for sure. At that point, I knew we had to risk it all so we could provide a safe and loving home for this little one.
I finally let the social worker know we would take him despite not knowing much of where he had been. I could not imagine him wondering what tomorrow would be in the world that had been in quarantine for weeks, but we know we would do the best in our ability to make sure he was safe and loved.
A few hours later he arrived at my house. I didn’t realize how tiny and unsure he would look. I’m not sure he had ever stayed at a black man’s home before. I can see why he was a little unsure of what was before him, but as soon as he saw my son, his smile went from ear to ear as they introduced themselves to one another. A few minutes later, they were in the garage digging through about 5000 pieces of Legos applying their creative minds to build a few items. I could not figure out what they were. It was truly the moment I knew I had made the right decision to take him.
When I said yes to taking this little precious boy, I had forgotten about school. With my 13-year-old old, he needs so little of my supervision since he can do it himself. I had no idea my 7-year-old old needed 100% supervision for homeschool. It’s been a learning curve trying to learn first grade math, English, social studies, and writing. I had also forgotten how short their listening and concentration span is. That alone has had me humbled in the area of patience and having a calm and gentle demeanor. It has been so joyous to go back to doing things I’d forgotten about, like reading bedtime stories and making meals on time.
I know we are in a crazy and strange time right now, and I know from my own experience it is easy to focus on my own needs and my family, which is absolutely the right thing to do. But we can also easily forget the needs of others especially kids in the foster care system.
Just like many of you, I was truly torn between keeping me and my son safe and taking in a child that I had no idea where he had been. It was a spiritual and emotional battle to decide on at such a risky time. At the same time, I could barely imagine where this little one would go if we did not step in to help. To be so young, waiting for someone to give you a place to sleep – when there are not as many people offering their spare rooms or a place at their table than there are children needing safety. My conscience had to take in this little one and to trust my heart and a greater God to provide for us all.
We knew we would have little emergency help from our friends since everyone had been quarantined. We also knew all he needed was a safe home and family to love him. My son is 13 and barely had any toys and games for a 7-year-old, but we have been learning how to be creative and find fun things to do around the house.
It’s been a joy to have this little boy with us, despite my fears of the unknown. My house is not a blessing unless it can be shared, even in the toughest times. We need to protect not just our own children, but the already vulnerable looking for safety. The noble choice is often the harder choice, but such a cost creates valuable rewards for their brighter future.”
Read part one of Peter’s story.
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Peter M. You can follow his journey on Instagram. Submit your own story here and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories.
Read Peter’s amazing backstory here:
‘At 11, his adoptive parents abandoned him at a hospital, never to return. ‘Mr. Peter, can I call you my Dad?’ I began to cry uncontrollably.’: Single dad adopts 11-year-old boy from foster care after biological, adoptive family abandon him
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