Posts tagged “foster child

Questions about Love

How do you know that you’re loved?  What tangible something can you label as being a sign or indication that someone loves you?  Or is it not tangible?  It’s a feeling, right?  Is it that knowing or sensing what the other feels for you?  Is it the comprehending of their appreciation, your importance, their need for you, what you know in your homecoming, what you sense in your going-away, or their homecoming or their going away?  Is it real?  How enduring is it?  What things or events or forgetting or betrayals can damage that love beyond all repair or healing?  How temporal is it?  How can one/we say it will last forever?  Will it be the same in its enduring?  How will it change with the passing of days and months and years?  How will the love of today resemble the love that you/one had a decade or more ago?  What trials actually make it stronger or weaker?  What little ‘nothings’ or ‘somethings’ will make it stronger?  How does it fade when there are no trials or challenges to it?  How does it grow when there are no trials or challenges to it?  How does it stay the same or remain constant when there are no trials or challenges to it?  How do celebrations make it stronger?  How does participating in others’ love make yours stronger?  How does participating in a second love make your primary love stronger or weaker?  How does loving your spouse make your love for your children stronger?  How does your parents’ display of love make your own love stronger, both as a spouse and as a parent?  Does an atheist sense and feel love the same way as someone who believes in God, or a god?  Does an atheist sense or feel love more on a gut or human level and a believer more on a supernatural level?  Does a Christian experience love the same was a Muslim does, or a Hindu, or a Buddhist, or a Jew, or a believer of any other religion or belief-system?  If a Christian and an atheist fall in love with each other, does the Christian love the atheist more than the atheist loves the Christian?  Does the love of a potential God make any and all of your loves stronger or weaker?  Does the love of a potential God make any and all of your loves stronger or weaker than the loves that you would experience if God didn’t/doesn’t exist?  How does the possibility of suffering in Hell make one’s love for God stronger?  How do you actually ‘love’ a god who threatens you with an eternity of suffering in Hell if you choose not to believe in and ‘love’ him/her/it?  How do we choose to believe or love?  We can decide to be ‘committed’ to someone or something, but how do we decide to actually ‘love’ someone or something?  Doesn’t love either happen or it doesn’t?  If one has a poor relationship with one’s parents, or father in particular, how does that really affect one’s ability or willingness to accept and love a potential heavenly father?  How do you know when your parents love you?  How can you tell that your mother, mom, mommy, or ma loves you?  How can you tell that your father, dad, daddy, papa, or pa loves you?  And your siblings, how can you feel their love?  If you’ve been estranged or moderately distant from your siblings for the majority or entirety of your adult life, do you really still love them?  Do they really still love you?  You don’t know each other, so how can you say that you ‘love’ each other?  Does having a shared set of parents and childhood mean that you’re ‘supposed’ to love each other?  What does it mean if you don’t ‘feel’ that love?  Is the love you might/do feel from your siblings different than the love you might/do feel from your best friend?  Is the love you feel from your siblings different than the love you feel from your best female or male friend, when you’re a male, or when you’re a female?  Do you feel love differently when you’re a guy or a girl?  Isn’t infatuation really the same as love?  Can love grow out of infatuation if it’s not the same thing?  Can love grow out of hate?  Is there really, or actually a fine line between love and hate?  Are they actually so closely related emotionally?  Do you feel love differently when you’re a man or a woman?  Do you feel your mom’s love greater when you’re a boy child or a girl child?  Do you feel your father’s love greater when you’re a boy child or a girl child?  Do you feel your mom’s love more than you feel your dad’s?  When you’re an adult, do you still feel the love that you might have felt as a child from your parents as strongly as you did when you where younger?  How do your adult experiences as a parent affect the love that you remember feeling for your parents when you were a child?  How do your adult feelings of love for your parents affect the love that you have for your young or adult children?  Do we dare love our in-laws in the same way or more than our own parents?  Is it ever okay to identify more with them than with our own parents, or is that a betrayal?  If we think we love our in-laws more than we love our own parents, does that say more about ourselves or about our parents?  What if we can’t stand our spouse’s parents?  What if we can’t imagine how they could possibly love their parents?  How do you measure the love that your spouse says they have for their parents against the strength of love that they say they have for you?  How do we claim to ‘love’ people when we don’t really like them?  How can we say that we actually love someone when we don’t like them?  How can we not like someone when we say that we actually love them?  Is it even possible to love someone if we don’t like them?  Is love like belief?  Do we love the idea of love without actually loving the way some people believe in belief without actually believing?  Is it possible to love someone without them knowing that we love them?  Or, can we love them without letting them know?  Is it possible to be loved or to feel loved without knowing who’s actually loving you?  Rather, do we feel or know it if someone loves us but leaves no outward indication of that love?  Does love leave a mark or a track somehow?  Is there some type of electromagnetically-spiritually-staticky-kind-of-powersurge-kind-of-chemical-something-or-other that one can sense or know when in the presence of someone who loves them?  When we ‘feel’ that someone loves us, what are we actually feeling?  Is it love or desire or lust or infatuation or like or compassion or similarity or dependency or co-dependency or co-survivorship or co-spirituality or oneness?  Is it possible to be co-spiritual or ‘one’ with someone and not love them or be loved by them?  Can you share ‘soul-mate’ status with someone and not love them or be loved by them?  If you love your same-gendered soul-mate does that mean
you’re gay?  Do gay people love as intensely or as deeply as straight people?  If you’re straight and come to love a person who is gay, does that make you gay, too?  Isn’t it possible to want someone so strongly, or intensely, physically that we think we love them?  Or isn’t it possible to be so intensely wanted by someone physically that we think they love us?  If someone treats us like shit, how can we still love them?  If someone kills, abuses, or treats our child or children poorly, how can we still love them?  How can we even like them?  Does a parent who leaves with their children to prevent/stop physical or emotional abuse of themselves and/or their children by their spouse/partner love their children more than the parent who doesn’t leave to prevent/stop the same abuse by their spouse/partner?  Will the children of the parent who left with them love more strongly than the children of the parent who didn’t leave with their children?  Will the children of the parent who left with them love their parent more strongly than do the children of the parent who didn’t leave with their children?  If we were abused or neglected as children and missed-out on something like ‘true-parental-love,’ is our measure of any kind of love ever accurate following our childhoods, or will it only be experienced in the extremes?  Do foster children love the same way biological children love?  Does a foster child who gets adopted feel love the same way a biological child feels love?  Does a foster child who ages-out (turns 18yo) of the system without having been adopted understand love the same way another foster child does who did get adopted?  Will the love of the aged-out foster child be as strong or as enduring as it would have been if they had been adopted at some time?  Do the adoptive parents love the adopted child the same way they love their biological children?  Do adopted children love their adoptive parents more than their adoptive parents’ biological children love them?  Do people who cannot reproduce biologically and adopt children love their adopted children the same way parents do who were able to biologically reproduce?  Should parents admit, even to themselves, that they love one of their children more or less than they love another or the rest of their children?  Should parents admit, even to themselves, that they like one of their children more or less than they like another or the rest of their children?  If we had a crappy childhood, but had a dog or cat that we loved and felt loved by, will that pet-love be a reliable or appropriate measure to compare other non-pet loves to if and when they occur?  If we had a relationship that started with both of us ‘loving’ the other and things went sour along the line somewhere and our love came to nothing or came to be something so far removed from what we had at first understood to be love, how does that tainted ‘love’ effect any subsequent loves that we might come to know?  Will the subsequent love be more real or pure than the first one was, even though, at its inception, that other love was understood to be real and pure?  Do we measure our friends’ love for us against what we know of love as a child or as a sibling?  When there are social power differentials between the people in a relationship, does one actually love the other more?  Does the lesser-powered person love the higher-powered person more than the reverse?  Is this like a child-parent love, but twisted somehow into whatever it is?  Does a preacher love his congregation more than the members of his congregation love him?  Does a child love a teacher more than the teacher loves the child?  Does a priest love God more than his God loves him?  Does God love Satan and his fallen angels?  Do Satan and his fallen angels actually love anybody?  Can an evil person love other people?  Can an evil person feel love from another person?  Do the answers to these two questions depend on the definition of this particular ‘evil’ and the context in which it exists?  Did Hitler actually love anybody?  Did he sense Eva Braun’s love for him?  Did she actually ‘love’ him?  Did she know everything about him and still love him?  Did the serial-killer ‘Son of Sam’ actually love someone?  Did he sense anyone’s love for him?  While a psychopath doesn’t or can’t empathize with others, are they capable of sensing love for themselves?  Did Adam love Eve even though he didn’t get to choose her?  Did Eve love Adam even though she was formed or brought to substance from one of his ribs…and didn’t get to choose him as her mate?  Did Adam and Eve still love Cain after he killed his brother, Abel?  Did Cain and Abel love their wives the same way Adam loved their mother, Eve?  (Don’t ask me where Cain and Abel got their wives; that’s another essay.)  Did Adam and Eve love God, even after he had them chased out of the Garden of Eden?  When our babies look at us while they’re nursing or being fed a bottle, can we know their love for us when we’re looking into their eyes?  Are they capable of loving us or knowing that we love them…or is this pre-verbal state or place where love actually begins and is undefined and is pure and has no measure?  If Abraham really loved his son, how could he put him on the altar and be prepared to sacrifice him for God?  Is it right to love God more than we love our children?  Is it right to follow the rules that our church has established, to love our church, more than we love our children?  If our church tells us to stop ‘fellowshipping’ with our child because they no longer believe the things that the church teaches, should we choose our church over our child?  Does love allow us to dis-fellowship our children, or should this be a sign that we should dis-fellowship our church from ourselves because we love our children more?  Would God’s love for Himself demand that we turn our backs on the children we love if they no longer love or believe in Him?  Does God still love a person who was brought-up in the church and got ‘saved’ when he/she was a child, and then reaffirmed his/her love for God and rededicated himself/herself to God and his service when he/she was an adult and then slowly came to doubt and no longer believe in God and His word, but instead believes that the notion of God/god is a myth, does God, if He really does exist, still love that person?  And does God, if He exists, love that person as much as He loves a person who never questioned or doubted His existence, but lived and ‘loved’ Him faithfully?  Do Christian parents love their Christian children more or less or the same as they love their atheist children?  If we perceive that we are loved by a certain person, but that person doesn’t actually love us, are we still loved because we perceive or feel that we are loved by them?  And if someone actually does love us but we perceive that they don’t, are we still loved?  Does a person who loves another person in spite of knowing the worst thing about them, which wasn’t horrible, love the person as much as someone else who loves another person in spite of knowing the worst thing about them, which was
horrible?   Does a serial-killer’s mom love her serial-killer son as much as another mom loves her son who isn’t a serial killer?  Should a serial-killer’s mom still love him?  Should anybody still love him?  Does he deserve love?  Given that people often don’t get what they deserve and just as often get things that they don’t deserve, should the serial-killer be loved?  Should/does Jesus still love the serial-killer?  Should God forgive the serial-killer?  Should/does Jesus still love people who murder their girlfriend’s children?  Should God forgive that person who murdered his girlfriend’s children?  Was Jesus’ blood shed to wash-away the sins of serial-killers and people who murder their girlfriend’s children?  Really?  Is that the ultimate in love, to be God/Jesus and have your blood shed, or to give your life to wash-away the sins of people who have done absolutely horrible and disgusting things and that if they believe in you and the cleansing power of your love, they will be forgiven and join you and the other believers in your eternal heaven or paradise?  Really?  Does the horrible sinner who has a lot to be forgiven love God more than the average sinner who has only an average amount of sin to be forgiven?  And does that super-sinner then know or sense a greater love from God than the average sinner?  Does God love the super-sinner more than He loves the average sinner, given that He’s forgiven/forgiving more of the super-sinner’s transgressions?  Does God love the prodigal more than He loves the one who never left?  If you fell in love with someone forty years ago and then split apart and married someone else, and that someone else died or left you somehow and you reconnected again with that first someone with whom you had fallen in love and fell in love again, would this second ‘being in love’ be as strong as it was those forty years ago?  Would this second time really even be falling in love, or would it be falling in love with the totality of the memory of having earlier fallen in love?  Does a soldier returning from a war in which he killed people, up close or from afar, experience a different intensity of love than he did before he went to war?  Do the children of a soldier returning from a war in which he killed people, up close or from afar, love him/her as intensely as children love their soldier parent who didn’t go to war or aren’t soldiers?  Do prostitutes love their children less than people who are not prostitutes love their children?  Do prostitutes who later get married experience a different intensity of love than do people who were never prostitutes and get married?  Does marrying someone mean that you love them more than if you didn’t marry them but lived with them for the rest of your life?  Do parents of an only-child love their child more than parents who have multiple children?  Does an only-child love his/her parents with a greater intensity than do children from multiple-child families?  Does an only-child love his friends more or less intensely than do children from multiple-child families?  Does an adult who was an only-child love his children any differently than a parent does who came from a multiple-child family?  Do only-children feel cheated by their parents from experiencing sibling-love?  Do single-sons feel cheated by their parents from experiencing true brotherly love, or do single-daughters feel cheated from experiencing true sisterly love?   Is love the same to me as it is to you?  Does my feeling of love feel the same as your feeling of love?  Can I know love the same way that you can know love?  Will or does the list of questions about love ever end?

      


I know my name is Timothy

The little boy with too-long hair and hazel and brown streaked eyes and two little girls, with their mom, are sitting half-way back in the theater, staring transfixed at the screen as Bambi and his mother are nibbling the spring grass after the long winter.  Bambi and his mom are in the open snow-covered and foggy meadow.  Slow, somber music is stepping from the speakers in a near marching cadence as Bambi’s mom suddenly raises her head and looks about, one direction and then the next, her ears twitching as her head turns and her eyes searching for what her soul knows is nearby.  “Bambi, quick, to the thicket!”  Bambi and his mom spring away, near flying to the edge of the meadow as the music’s tempo increases with horn blasts and smart drums and strings…Bambi approaches and jumps the stream as his mom follows…with a bullet ricocheting off some tree or forest boulder….  “Faster, faster, Bambi!” his mom desperately pleads as he approaches and enters the first snow-rounded bushes skirting the meadow’s edge.  “Don’t look back, keep running!”  The music is frantic with strings and horns, screeching and marching as the baby and mommy deer flee through the snow, kicking-up little storms of white clouds in their passing.  As Bambi makes it through the snow covered bushes and rounds the corner, his mom pleads one last time “Keep running!” and then a deep and terrible gunshot rings out as the music reaches its peak, drops, and then begins to slow, the march gone, and now the strings lessen their intensity as Bambi makes it into their deep thicket home.

 

“We made it!  We made it, Mother!”  Bambi says as he pants and looks expectantly at the thicket opening.  “Wait…Mother?”  Bambi approaches the opening and looks out, then steps out of the thicket and into the now falling snow.  “Mother?!  Mother?!”  A choir of angelic voices begin to hum and ‘ooh’ in the background as Bambi starts to walk further out into the darkening woods.  Snow is falling and the trees and bushes exist in shadow form, shades of gray and white and black forming, outlining, blurring, and accentuating the hushed frames.  “Mother, where are you?!”  Bambi is running and walking this way and that and angelic choir voices continue oohing and the snow is falling thicker as Bambi is calling “Mother?!  Mother?!”  Slowly, as Bambi keeps running and walking through the snowy woods, his calling for his mother becomes weaker, weaker… “Mother….”  Oh, where can you be?  Bambi is standing in the falling snow with his ears laid back against his head, his tail down, and his little legs close together feeling the weight of the unknown falling on him in the thickening snow.  “Mother” now comes with a sob, a little boy sob as his chest shakes, walking, ears and head down.  He suddenly stops, gasps, and looks up to see his mighty, antlered father in a silhouette against the falling snow and gray black of the night.  His father’s deep, calm voice says, “Your mother can’t be with you anymore.”  Bambi slowly lowers his head and closes his eyes as the little boy with hazel and brown streaked eyes sitting next to those two little girls and their mom suddenly bursts into tears, crying inconsolably as his tender heart rips open with that un-named sadness…soul tears and sobs and baby anguish as Bambi learns that his mother is gone…and he, himself, understands maybe for the first time that his mother, too, is gone…echoes of “Your mother can’t be with you anymore” resound in his little boy mind and aching heart…wondering….

 

There is a certain loneliness or remove from those in his company.  The girls are nice and then not, or ok, but girls, and he remembers them from a few years ago, his sisters new, ones who opened their rooms and toy-boxes to him, shared their blankets and sheets with him, and even moved one of the dining room chairs over to allow his to scoot that much closer and up next to the dark, smooth surface of the table…chin up to the plastic cereal bowl or flower-printed plates that held his and their dinners….  They used to share a house and mom and dad, now there were miles and time separating them and their ‘visits’ were regular, but not as frequent as either of them would prefer.  This caused them to have to get to know one another all over again, to figure out the right approaches, the things to say or not say, which things to take or not….  “She’s my mommy,” one would say to the other as little elbows and knees struggled to find that other someone off of that mommy’s lap.  The separation of miles and time were wrought by emotionally uninvolved people in offices in tall buildings in a downtown that was as cold and uncaring as the winter wind that blew across the farmland where he now lived with another sister, other brothers and a different mom and dad…these were good people, just like the lady and the two girls and their dad at home, but they are nearer to his birth-mom and are the last of four families in 18 months or so and now resembled what might be stability…a stability that was foreign, yet welcome, strange, yet necessary…and temporary, if not known to the little boy as such, it was understood by the other mom and dad and brothers and sister…it was temporary, again, another stopping or resting place on the journey of his little life.

 

The little boy with hazel and brown streaked eyes names his first memories as those of being in a basement somewhere, walking down wooden stairs to a cold cement floor and sitting next to a water heater that ticked and hummed as the pilot light kicked the flame on and warmed the water that would go upstairs to the sinks and tubs where he remembers seeing syringe tubes and dirt and soiled underwear and socks…other memories of sitting behind the door in a mobile home or trailer in some part of the world that has no name or form…his little body tucked away and wondering at the strange people who populated his existence…a tall man with olive skin and dark hair who was sometimes there, the one who might have contributed to his life, laying the seed in the very light-skinned woman with stringy yellow brown hair and freckles and pimples and greasy skin and picking fingers, the one who washed her face and her son’s with a sour washcloth that had been wadded into a ball and sat alongside the kitchen sink that was full of clotted utensils and matted food and scum and waste…and other people who didn’t have faces or names or forms other than larger-than-me and scary, sometimes tender hands and sometimes rough kicks and shoves…life sucked-ass and vomited its bilious shit and vileness onto the tender skin and rat’s nest hair of the little boy with hazel and brown streaked eyes…sad eyes that questioned other eyes’ meeting his, waited for rising voices and strange cars, moving, transplanting, uprooting momentary threads of what could be and not……and traveled again to another place with that cold downtown building where people viewed others’ lives in black and white as they appeared on papers and papers and in folders and file-drawers, tucked away inside satchels, briefcases, purses and later appeared on court dockets and in attorneys’ offices.

 

The little boy’s maternal grandmother, his mom’s mom, called the police to check on him as he was living in the cab of a pick-up truck…sometimes parked behind the restrooms at a city park and sometimes tucked-away in the rear of the parking lot of the club where the mom sometimes danced or worked or found people to give her money for things or things…the grandmother called the authorities on the mom…the grandmother knew something was wrong…and the little boy was taken away from that mom…taken away from that mom….  The police found that little boy with the hazel and brown streaked eyes in the cab of the pick-up truck, along with the things and stuff of his life…shirts and pants and socks and a blue and gray jacket and a baby-bottle of soda, a baby-bottle of soda, and an unopened bottle of antibiotics that a doctor had given the mom for the little boy’s double ear infection…a bottle that had a prescription dated two weeks earlier than the day the police found him…two weeks earlier than the day the police found him…it was unopened…the police took that little boy to the community hospital where doctors examined him and found both of his ears still infected and bleeding, found bald spots on his head where handfuls of his too-long brown hair had been ripped-out in clumps, found damaged and swollen and bleeding kidneys, found signs suggesting that he had been shaken violently, found nickel and dime shaped bruises on his little chest and back and stomach that were supposedly caused by ‘the ski poles falling out of the closet…’ on that little boy with the hazel and brown streaked eyes…and he stayed in the hospital for two weeks while strangers came to look at him and draw diagrams and pictures of what they saw…police reports and doctors’ reports and social-workers’ reports and judges thought about the reports and the little boy and signed papers and sent orders and people to do his deeds for him…to take him away and keep him away…in the hospital for two weeks to heal and find something inside of his three year old self…and then go to a medical receiving-home with caretakers for a couple days until they could find someone to take care of him on a more permanent but temporary basis…and a social-worker called that lady with the two little girls and asked her if she was ready for another child, she and her husband and her two little girls, asked her if she was ready for that little boy with the too-long brown hair and the hazel and brown streaked eyes and that lady said ‘yes.’ 

 

That lady said ‘yes’ and told her husband and her two little girls that they were going to have a son and a brother and didn’t know how long it was going to be for, but it would be good for that little boy with the hazel and brown streaked eyes and they would make it good for them, too.  The girls shared their Princess-Pony bedspread and Barbie toys and wondered why he didn’t want to play with the He-man toys and teddy bears…they wondered why.  For six months that little boy lived in the home with his new mom and dad and two sisters and he came to know stability and evenness and life and have expectations met and consistency and warm arms and gentle hands and medicine when he needed it and dogs…and he laughed and played with those two little girls, one older and one younger than he, and fit right in…for six months.  He had to visit his mom in the office buildings in that cold downtown and would have sad hazel and brown streaked eyes or nothing on his face when the visits were done…little hands grasping a teddy-bear by the leg and walking where he was led and so.

 

The six months were the beginning of an eternity for that little boy and were a moment’s time for the lady and man and the two little girls.  It was a moment’s time and then gone as the little boy’s mom moved an hour and more away to a larger city where something or someone was waiting for her or things would just be better or who knows why but she did it anyway and ripped the little boy with the hazel and brown streaked eyes out of the hearts and life of that lady and man and the two little girls and ripped that little boy out of his new life and then.  And there was one home and another and another and more and one last one…and some of the people took care of him because they wanted to help and some took care of him because they wanted the money and some took care of him because they wanted another child of their own but their own family fell apart and they could no longer take care of him because they couldn’t take care of themselves and that woman cried and the little boy cried and silent tears marked his face in their passing from so-sad hazel and brown streaked eyes and empty and wanting and.

 

And he would visit his mom in the tall office buildings in that farther-away and larger city with the cold downtown and then visit his mom in his mom’s apartment or at Burger King or a park or wherever and the mom’s boyfriend would be there when things had gone well enough for the mom to have unsupervised visits and then that little boy with the hazel and brown streaked eyes got stabbed in the hand and thrown down a staircase by his mom’s fucking boyfriend and the visits stopped again and we wonder if the little boy would wonder at his life and himself and trust and love and what things might be like somewhere else.

 

Finally, that little boy went to that home on the farmland where the cold winter wind blows and it seemed that he would be there for a long time through spring and summer and maybe preschool in the fall and then.  He thought that he might be or would be, but the mom and dad and sister and brothers knew that they were only taking care of him for a while…they were just taking care of him for a some kind of a while…his brothers and sister came to love him and did love him and the parents were good people but they knew the little boy with the hazel and browns streaked eyes would be leaving again sometime maybe soon and maybe not, but they didn’t love him like they would have if they thought he wouldn’t be leaving soon or maybe not…they were good people and they took care of him for someone else…they did take care of him for someone else.

 

The people in the tall buildings in that cold downtown contacted the lady and man with the two little girls and said that they could have the little boy with the hazel and brown streaked eyes again because his mom’s legal rights were going to be severed soon and the little boy would need a permanent and real family and home and did they still want him?  The lady and the man and the two little girls did want him and thought it would be wonderful to have him back again.  They began making visits to that farther-away place and met the lady and the man and the boys and the girl with whom the little boy was living out on that farm-land and learned that they were good people…and the courts and the laws and time dragged by in their papers and appearances and dates and rescheduling and motions and hearings and lawyers and social-workers and interested-parties and paperwork and attorney’s fees and you can’t say anything but you can be there and you need to be there so the judge can see you and the little boy with the hazel and brown streaked eyes at the same time and when do we get to see him again and his birthday is coming up soon and we’ll make the long drive and bring him that present of a big yellow car.

 

Time and time continued to slip through the glass as moments and days and months have done and do and the lady and her husband and the two little girls moved out of state because it was their time to move and to start or continue in a new life they had chosen…and they gave their address to the people in that building in the cold downtown and those people talked to other people in buildings in a very warm downtown in the new and larger city where they lived with their two little girls and things were in motion to bring the little boy with the hazel and brown streaked eyes down to their new warm city.  More studies and reports were done on the family for the family of the lady and her husband and the two little girls and social-workers and supervisors and attorneys and clerks and judges looked at those reports and decided that it was time to send that little boy back to that family and that is what happened.  The lady left her husband and two little girls one day and flew up to that other colder city with a social worker from the state of her warm city and the two of them met the little boy again with the hazel and brown streaked eyes and brought him home with them…he came to join the lady and her husband and their two little girls again to live together and be a family again and laugh and share the new dining room table and his own new bed with the Transformers heroes on his own new bedspread and curtains and pillows and then.  He still had the brown hair and the hazel and brown streaked eyes and a scar on his hand that he remembered getting…and his hazel and brown streaked eyes were sometimes sad but more often happy and one can still wonder at what was going on, what is going on in that little boy’s heart and mind…what memories beat with the pulse of his heart, what loneliness clings to his soul’s deepest chambers and yearns for a love that is pure and unmarked and he still wonders at trust and love and who is there for good and who does he need to push away to see if they will still love him and not leave him and go away forever as he rounds the snowy bushes along the meadow and makes it into the safety of his own thicket home and turns around and cries “Mother?!”  The things taken and gone and left behind and not known and never known and who, he wonders at these and those things and doesn’t know.  He goes to bed at night in his new room, in his new room with his new family thinking about those things that he doesn’t know and wonders at what he does know, and wonders at what he does know…and the measure of his seven years of life and the seven years of life of that little boy with the hazel and brown streaked eyes might be summed-up in his thoughts, “I know my name is Timothy.”

 

The day finally came after months and years of waiting and then in cold cities and warm for the judge to make his ultimate decision and order that the little boy with the short brown hair and hazel and brown streaked eyes be named as belonging to the lady and her husband and the two little girls.  When the lady and her husband had asked the little boy what name he would choose if he could choose any possible name from any that existed in the whole world that was known to that little boy with the hazel and brown streaked eyes, he said “Why Timothy, of course!”  And on that special day the judge so ordered and declared and decreed and made known to all and to him that he would be and is named Timothy Wayne with his ‘new’ and final family’s last name…and so it is and was and will be and then.

 

And today, October 6, 2009, that little boy with the short brown hair and hazel and brown streaked eyes turns 28 years-old at 9:58 a.m. and knows that he is and has been and will be loved and cherished by that lady and her husband and those two grown little girls for many years and yesterdays of the past and the moments and days of today and for the many tomorrows and years to come and he knows more of himself and his life than he could say those many times past when the only thing he knew was that his name is and was and will be Timothy.

 

If you think you know Timothy, you might; if you are certain that you know him, you couldn’t possibly, because that little boy with the short brown hair and the hazel and brown streaked eyes is the combination of the many little boys and girls who exist as names on papers and papers and in folders and file-drawers, tucked away inside satchels, briefcases, purses and later appeared on court dockets and in attorneys’ offices and…he is nobody and everyone and somebody and then.  He is that one little someone inside every foster and adopted child who used to be someone else and is now who they are, the measure of who they have become in the process and system that defines and decides and makes judgments and rulings and decrees about little lives and girls and boys who used to belong to somebody and now belong to somebody else and then…he is the totality of those other little Someones who lost everything they had and were and only know for a certainty that their name was and is and will be theirs, so please don’t change it for if you change it who did they used to be and are and who will they be if they can no longer say that they know their name is…?