This past weekend we had family over for a bar-b-q and as we were chatting my oldest (Jenny) turns to me and says... "yeah you need to start writing on your blog again.. it's been like forever..." to which my mom chimes in... "yeah!" It seems that my last short blog wasn't good enough.... over the summer I didn't write because most of my family was home and I simply wanted to enjoy having everyone home and not spend hours on the pc as I do when everyone is back to school. I haven't even been keeping up with the games I play on face book.
So school is back in session (boo!) and I am back to work full time... if it wasn't for those lovely paychecks I'd rather spend my time at home- I guess I need to start playing the lottery more frequently.
I thought awhile before I decided to share the following on my blog- I am not looking for kudos etc. but there is something new going on within our family.
This summer we obtained legal guardianship of my son's best friend Tyriek.
Tyriek is JJ's age and we have known him since he was 8 or 9 years old. His mom is a single mom of 3 kids, working 3rd shift- doing the best she can. Unfortunately they live in a neighboring town which has become more dangerous as of late. There is a lot of gang activity, shootings, drugs etc. and it was really in this kids best interest to be outta there. So as per his moms request we stepped up and got a lawyer and got it done.
I am not trying to minimize this- we did a lot of soul searching before deciding to commit to the care of this child. I mean it's one thing raising your own kid- you make a mistake. *shrug* But to raise another persons kid... That is different.
Many family members & friends tell us they cannot believe that we are doing this and what wonderful people we are... blah blah blah...kind of our version of The Blindside. When we first discussed doing this Jeff and I could not deny the fact that this was a child who was struggling and at risk.We talked as a family and we were all in agreement. I will freely admit that the whole thing scared me to a certain extent... all those what if's that nag at you... Plus our lawyer strongly advised us to really consider NOT doing this- he played devil's advocate and told us we had everything to lose by taking Ty on.
The bottom line was we saw a young man whom we cared about, who has potential & who without some type of intervention would either become a statistic and possibly drop out of school or, worse case scenario- get killed. We prayed for guidance and ultimately decided that we really did not have any other choice. I knew that if we did nothing & something happened to Tyriek, we would never be able to live with ourselves.
It has been a month now since he has joined our family and I am no longer scared.
Tyriek is a great kid! He is respectful, funny, and a hard worker. He helps out without being asked and has meshed with our family. He has joined the football team with JJ and is doing homework every night. His mom told us the only thing he doesn't like is his 10 PM curfew on school/practice nights. But he understands that we have rules & expectations for both him & JJ and he is ok with that.
The biggest difference that I have noticed is that he now talks about his future. Before I think he really only thought day to day... now he is talking about "when he goes to college". His mom can see a difference as well when she sees him. She told us that before the only male role models he saw were men who did not hold down jobs and hung out on street corners either drinking or doing drugs.
Last weekend I sat down with him and asked "mom" kinds of questions, like which classes does he like best, and has he noticed any particular girl he might like to date? etc. [and yes he has ;) ] He told me he really likes his new school and is making friends. :)
I will continue to pray for guidance, and hope that we are making a positive difference in his life. One thing I DO know, is that he has made me reevaluate my priorities. I have taken many things for granted in my life, but am recognizing that it is the little things which are most important.