Childhood is, for the most part, a time when we are surrounded in affection and shown the ways of the world by gentle and understanding guides.
When I think back on my upbringing, I realize how much my parents sacrificed for me. They lavished me with affection, made me feel safe and protected, and assured me that no matter what occurred, I would always have my family by my side.
Unfortunately, this is not true for every youngster. Some people are born into families where they are treated as second-class citizens. Some are mistreated, while some are treated even worse.
Anthony, a little kid who was abandoned not just by his birth parents, but also by his adoptive parents, was one of those children. Anthony now has a new father who loves him, but his story is full of twists and turns, and it could have ended very differently if it hadn’t been for the compassion exhibited by one guy.
Peter M, Anthony’s guardian and father, explained LoveWhatMatters how he came to be Anthony’s guardian and father.
Anthony was placed in foster care at an early age but was adopted by a family in Oklahoma when he was four years old, according to him. He was driven to a local hospital and admitted six years after the adoption was finalized. His adopted mother and father disappeared without a trace.
Peter told LoveWhatMatters, “They never returned to collect the son who called them Mom and Dad for so many years.”
“All the promises of a forever family were shattered, and this young kid was left alone, abandoned, terrified, and emotionally destroyed.” Worst of all, he had no idea when or if they would ever come back for him because he wasn’t involved in the plot to abandon their child. Most people couldn’t believe a parent could do such a thing to their child, but it wasn’t their first time. They did the same thing to their other adoptive son a few years prior, unfortunately.”
Meanwhile, Peter had been fostering two brothers, ages four and ten. He claims they transformed his perspective on life and taught him a variety of lessons about love.
“They truly held my heart,” Peter wrote. During the 7 months, they were put with me, and until the Family Court concluded that reunification with their biological parents was suitable, I supported the boys and their parents to the best of my abilities. Everything was settled within an hour of arriving at the courthouse.
“I had gone through a lot of training to become a registered foster parent, but none of it prepared me for saying goodbye to these boys who had taken up so much of my heart.” The one-hour trip home was filled with mixed emotions. For most of the drive, the thought of never seeing lads who had been a part of my life for so long brought me to tears. But it filled me with excitement for the entire family when I realized how wonderful it was that they could once again be at home with their parents.”
Peter received a call from his social workers just four days after saying his goodbyes to the boys, asking if he could take in an 11-year-old boy for the weekend.
Peter, on the other hand, didn’t think he’d have the stamina to care for another child so soon after being separated from the brothers he’d loved and raised.
“I stressed that I needed more time to grieve,” he recalled, “and the back-and-forth continued until she persuaded me to take the child in, reminding me that it was only for the weekend.” “She had a way of persuading me that it was the right child at the right time, and she was absolutely correct, especially in this situation.”
I refused to ask why he was in foster care because I couldn’t take any more heartbreak and didn’t want to become attached while still grieving. I made up my mind that if the placement lasted longer than the two nights agreed upon, I would simply refuse to let him remain because I was afraid of being attached again and experiencing the same loss and sadness. Not to mention the fact that I hadn’t had a break in 7 months and was fostering three children at the same time. I needed at least a month or two to re-energize.
After travelling two hours from another county within the state, the social worker arrived at my house with him at 3 a.m. Because there is a severe shortage of foster homes in Oklahoma, social workers are frequently forced to transfer children outside of their home counties, often uprooting the kid from the only home he or she has ever known. When you consider that older children are often more difficult to place, the social worker is left with few options.
I held firm in my refusal to inquire as to why he was in foster care. I was adamant about not emotionally attaching to any additional children until I was ready. I told him he could address me as ‘Mr. Peter,’ and 20 minutes later, he requested if he could address me as ‘Dad.’ What? I had no idea what his last name was, but he insisted on calling me ‘Dad.’ This was unusual because most foster children want to remind you that you are not their father and never will be. That argument was not even presented by this child I had just met. I was really taken aback, and my first reaction was, “NO! NO! NO!” I told him that he was just staying with me for two days and that he didn’t have to refer to me as “Dad.”
By Monday morning, Peter had mustered the guts to inquire of the social worker about Anthony’s placement in foster care. He started crying when he heard the whole story, about how Anthony had been abandoned not once, but twice in his short life.
“I was completely taken aback!” he exclaimed. “I couldn’t believe my ears when I heard what I was hearing. I started crying in frustration over what these adults had done to this 11-year-old youngster.”
According to LoveWhatMatters, he went on to say, “I had no idea such a thing even existed.” Later on, I discovered that this is known as a ‘failed adoption.’ After almost a decade, the parents were allowed to return their adopted child to the state’s custody as if he or she were a throwaway object. My heart was shattered into a million pieces as a result of this. How could a human being, much less a child, be able to do such a thing?
“As I sat there, powerless, crying, I wondered, ‘Where would they take him?’ He would be leaving my home and heading straight to a group home because there were no family members to contact and no foster families available at the time. I had no intention of allowing that to happen.
“I refused to let him be tossed aside once more.” He was already addressing me as ‘Dad.’ I requested a placement letter from the social worker so that I could enrol him in school the next day. She asked me a hundred times whether I was serious, and we both burst out laughing. I told her that she would never have to worry about where he would get his food, shelter, or affection again. I was prepared for him to refer to me as ‘Dad’ for as long as he wanted.
On November 12th, I finally got to tell the young man who is now officially my son my last name. This is the benefit in my life for which I am most grateful. It’s been an incredible journey. In the last three years, I’ve fostered eleven children, and Anthony has been by my side the entire while. In the previous 19 months, he’s read over 500 books and met a lot of fantastic friends at church, school, and in the foster community. Despite everything he’s had to go through, I’m impressed at how strong and positive he is.”
Wow! This is such a touching story of love and care. We’re overjoyed that Anthony now has his own father.
Thank you for what you’ve done, Peter.
Please share this post on social media to express your best wishes to them and to honour Peter’s generosity.