By Lorry Myers
Three weeks after my husband’s memorial, I was asked to care for three young children who were taken away from parents who only care about themselves. I wasn’t prepared, but quickly agreed to do it for thirty days, foolishly believing that efforts would be made and the ending would be happy.
Thirty days turned into seven months.
The boys arrived with pillows, wearing clothes from a group home where they were placed. The four-month-old came with a government issued car seat, and diapers and formula hastily purchased the night before. The next day, I bought shoes and socks and sleepers. Pajamas and pacifiers and Paw Patrol sheets. Bibs and bouncers and baby bottles.
It was like starting over.
There was paperwork to do and classes to complete and I had to provide letters of recommendation from community members as well as my immediate family. I had to give a financial statement, proof of housing, and be fingerprinted. I had to explain my decisions and defend my choices and, in the process, I learned that the parents, who had their children taken away, are not held that accountable.
Why is that?
My intent was never to raise someone else’s children, I simply thought I could help. I could protect them, nurture them and keep them safe. I would hold them and comfort them.
I would love them through everything.
I got the children ready for school and ready for bed and ready for whatever will come next. I matched tiny socks and zipped tiny sleepers and carried a car seat everywhere I went. I met with teachers and signed permission forms, but, more than anything, I simply loved those children morning, noon and night.
I loved them when they needed loving the most.
The children are incredibly bright and settled in quickly and embraced the childhood they had been missing. The baby cut teeth and learned to sit up. The boys made good grades and life became a chaotic routine.
I became a worrier. I watched these children change before my eyes and over the months I came to realize that they need much more than me. They deserve two parents who share the responsibilities of raising three children. The baby needs to feel the comfort of consistent parenting, while the middle boy thrives on attention of any kind. The older boy deserves someone to play catch with him and take him fishing.
These little souls deserve much more than me.