The Pie Baker

Fresh from the Oven

The Right Thing to Do

I have known a very special young woman practically her entire life. Her mother was my best friend in high school and I spent a large portion of her childhood with her. Due to issues between me and her mother, I missed watching her grow into an adult and it has been over the past 2 years that we have gotten incredibly close again and I am profoundly proud of her. She is a single mother of a 10 year old son and works in a large retail chain as a manager. Her career is important to her, and so is her family. Because she believes it’s the right thing to do.

When her cousin’s children were recently removed from the home and the parents jailed, she displayed incredible valor by petitioning the court for custody. When custody was granted, she set about converting her garage into another bedroom, and worked practically round the clock to make her home inviting and comfortable to 3 small children. I knew in my heart that it was a blessing to her and the children and that she would succeed beyond measure at helping to heal these damaged children. During the preparation, she never once considered herself – she always placed the needs and welfare of the children first. She never questioned why she was doing it, she just knew it was the right thing to do. During one small moment of doubt, she asked me if I thought she could accept the challenge that lay ahead of her. I told her, “I know of no better person to take this on.” It is the right thing to do.

As I shared her story with my co-workers, many of them stepped up to the plate to donate toys, clothes, personal hygiene items and other necessities to the children. People who had never met this young woman came out of nowhere to help provide for them. She was in no financial position to buy all new clothes, toys, toothbrushes, shoes, etc. for the children and total strangers to her helped out with so many things that were needed. Because it was the right thing to do.

I have wondered to myself if I would have done the same thing if I were in her position. Would I have turned my entire life upside down? Would I have done construction on my home to accommodate 3 children who had serious issues? I believe I would have let my own doubts and fears stand in the way of allowing the children into my life. I don’t know if I possess the intestinal fortitude necessary to accept that challenge – even if it is the right thing to do.

When the children arrived, it was somewhat of a shock to her. She was used to managing only one tween son; now she had a 6 year old boy, a 4 year old girl and a 2 year old girl. She created a loving environment with routine, discipline and affection – something to which neither child had been exposed. In the ensuing weeks since their arrival, the children have faced obstacles of their own, but my young friend has provided wise words and a soft place to fall for them. Because it’s the right thing to do.

No one knows what the future holds for this extraordinary young woman and her new “add water and stir” instant family. But I know that whatever happens, it’s the right thing to do.

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October 12, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized

1 Comment »

  1. I think that you would do “the right thing” as well, Jackie. It’s also the scary thing, the overwhelming thing, the thing that makes you lie awake at night thinking about it. Yet, somehow, you still do it…because it IS the right thing.

    Gareth and I were faced with a similar situation a few years ago. His cousin, who is incarcerated on charges he should not be, lost his wife suddenly thus leaving their twin sons basically orphaned. We waited to see if anyone else (someone with money, because there were certainly those with the financial means and more space than we had) in the family would “do the right thing” and when no one did, we offered to. As it happened, the neighbor family who had immediately taken them in sued for custody (because apparently they came with a hefty trust fund) and WON based on the fact that the boys A. previously knew them and spend time with them every week and B. the boys would not have to change schools or even cities, etc while we lived in another state entirely and C. the boys wanted to live with them. We didn’t even get to hire a lawyer before the neighbor family had temporary custody AND control of the twins’ money as well. No way they were letting that slip through their fingers. I cried my self to sleep for weeks with worry for those boys….boys that I had never even met! Then Gareth’s mom told us that she had discovered that the twins had so many mental issues that had to have intense therapy. They destroyed things when they got mad, for example: when sent to their room, they had shredded linens and ripped pillows apart, kicked and punched walls until there was damage, etc. I like to think that Someone knew that those twins would have been an awful experience to expose Caitlin and Joshua to. Perhaps that is why it happened as it did. We will never know. We get regular updates, and Gareth’s Mom calls them often. After the horror that they have wrought upon their new family I am grateful that we didn’t end up with them, even if it was “the right thing” for us to do. Would I do it again, make the decision to take in someone else’s children? If I knew the children, had spent any time at all with them personally…yes, without a doubt. If I did not personally know the children then i would be afraid for my own children. In that situation, then no, I don’t think I could go there again, and yet, while knowing that protecting my own children had to be the priority, I would still feel unbelievably guilty. Human nature and decisions…kind of make you go, “Hmmmm?” =)

    Comment by Nece | October 12, 2009 | Reply


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