Almost everyone recalls their childhood as a period when loving and considerate individuals taught them how to navigate the world and treat others.
When I think back on my early years, I am reminded of how much my parents had given up on me. They lavished me with affection, made sure I felt safe and protected at all times, and assured me that my family would be there for me no matter what.
However, not every youngster can be said to be this way. Some people are born into families who don’t place a lot of value on them. Others are harmed while some are treated unfairly.
Anthony, a little boy whose adopted parents and birth parents abandoned him, experienced this. It’s good that Anthony now has a new father that cares about him. Even still, his tale is rife with surprises, and had it not been for the goodwill of one individual, things might have turned out very differently.
The individual in question is Peter M. He shared the heartbreaking tale of how he came to be Anthony’s guardian and father with LoveWhatMatters.
When Anthony was a young child, he was placed in foster care and lived with other neighborhood children. He moved to Oklahoma when he was 4 years old and was reared there by a family. He was taken urgently to a hospital close to his house six years after he was adopted. They were never seen or heard from again.
“They never came back to fetch the son who had called them Mom and Dad for years,” Peter told LoveWhatMatters.
“All of the assurances of a lasting family were betrayed, leaving this small child alone, afraid, and mentally damaged. And to make matters worse, he had no idea whether or when they would return for him because he was unaware of their intention to leave their child. The majority of people found it difficult to comprehend why a parent would subject their child to such treatment, but it wasn’t the first time. Peter was caring for his two brothers, who were ages 4 and 10. He claims that they transformed his perspective on life and taught him a lot about love.
“They were genuinely in my heart,” Peter stated in his letter. The boys were with me for the entire seven months. I tried to be as helpful as I could to them and their parents. I assisted them in reuniting with their birth parents once the Family Court gave the go-ahead for it. I did everything I could to support them and their parents. After I arrived at court, everything started to happen. For many people, becoming foster parents required a lot of labor. I didn’t know how to say goodbye because I had so much love to give the guys. It was an extremely emotional hour-long drive home after that. I was quite dejected. I frequently shed tears thinking about long-time friends and family members. It was lovely for them to see their parents again when I considered how terrific it would be for the entire family.
Four days after saying his final goodbyes to the boys, Peter received a call from his social workers requesting that he house an 11-year-old boy for the weekend.
Peter, however, didn’t believe he could take care of another child so soon after losing his siblings, whom he had loved and looked after.
Throughout the back and forth, he continued insisting that he needed more time to grieve. When she assured him that it would only be for the weekend, he eventually decided to take the kid. When we spoke, she had a knack of making me believe that this particular child was the right one for the situation. Boy, in this instance especially, did she have a point.
I didn’t inquire as to his reasons for residing with a foster home. I didn’t want to become involved while I was still in pain from my loss because I couldn’t stand having my feelings damaged any longer. I made the decision that if the placement lasted longer than the predetermined two nights, I wouldn’t let him remain any longer out of concern that I would grow emotionally attached to him once more and succumb to the agony of separation. Not to mention that I hadn’t had a break in seven months because I was caring for three kids throughout that time. To regain my strength, it took me at least a month or two.
The social worker arrived at my residence at 3 a.m. after traveling two hours from another county in the same state. Social workers frequently have to relocate children out of their home county and away from the only home they have ever known since there aren’t enough foster homes in Oklahoma. The social worker had no other option because older children are far more difficult to place in families.
Why he was residing with a foster family didn’t matter to me. I took great care to wait until I was ready to care for other children. After waiting for 20 minutes, he asked if he could call me “Dad,” and I approved of that. What? His name was unknown to me. He stated that he preferred to be addressed as “Dad.” Most kids would tell you right away when you were in foster care that you weren’t and never would be their father. This youngster, who I had just met, didn’t say that. I was initially told, “No, no, no!” I advised him to stop calling me “Dad” as he would only be staying with me for two days.
Peter finally summoned the nerve to question the social worker why Anthony was assigned to live with his foster parents on Monday morning. When he learned the entire tale—including the fact that Anthony had been abandoned twice in his brief life—he broke down in tears.
He remarked, “I was very astonished.
“When I heard what I heard, I was speechless. Because I was so outraged by what these adults had done to this 11-year-old child, I started crying.
I had no idea such a thing even existed, he reportedly added, according to LoveWhatMatters. Later, I learned that this is referred as as a “failed adoption.” An adopted child’s parents were finally able to return her to the state as though she were a non-essential possession after over ten years. My heart was torn to a thousand pieces by this. How could a person, much less a child, be abandoned in such a state? How could they leave without wishing to see or hear him again after all these years? Where are they taking him, I wondered as I sat there in hopeless sobs? Because he had no family to turn to and there were no foster homes available, I was informed that he would have to leave my home and move into a group home. That was obviously not going to happen.
“I wouldn’t allow him to be left alone once again. Better yet, he was already addressing me as “Dad.” In order to enroll him in school the next day, I requested a placement letter from the social worker. She repeatedly questioned my seriousness, which caused us to both laugh aloud. I assured her that she wouldn’t ever need to be concerned about where he would find food, a place to live, or love. I was content to have him refer to me as “Dad” for however long he desired.
I eventually gave the young man, who is now legally my kid, my last name on November 12. This is the nicest thing that has ever happened to me. The journey has been fantastic. I’ve fostered eleven children over the past three years, and Anthony has been there for me at every turn. He has read more than 500 books in the last 19 months and has met some wonderful friends at church, school, and in the foster system. His resilience and optimism in the face of adversity never fail to inspire me.
Wow! This heartwarming tale of love and compassion is wonderful. That Anthony now has a father figure makes us happy.