At lunch on Sunday a friend was telling me about her brother taking in two children whose parents had basically abandoned them. They already had three biological children when they adopted these two little boys.
Giving them a very different life than they would’ve known otherwise.
When I was five years old I went with my mother to serve a meal to a family from church after a funeral. The mother had died, leaving behind three children.
Deanne, the oldest, was 14, Tommy was 13, and Tony, the baby, was 11.
Their parents had been divorced and their father said he couldn’t take them. And their grandmother said she wasn’t able to keep them.
So my mother loaded them up in the car with what little possessions they had and they came home with us.
They didn’t have very much. In fact, we took them to Treasure City – the 60s version of Wal-Mart – and bought them every kind of toiletry imaginable. Even toothbrushes.
The house we lived in when I was growing up only had two bedrooms, so Deanne slept with me in my room and the boys slept on a sofa bed in the den.
Every morning I would ride in my pajamas with my mother to take all three of them to school.
Deanne to Old High.
Tommy to Zundy Jr. High.
And Tony to Reagan Elementary.
Every afternoon we picked them up.
For a long while those kids did life with us. We ate supper together, we watched television together, we played with Fritz, our weiner dog. When Tommy wanted to enter the eighth grade big brother/little sister pageant at the Boys Club, he took me to be his little sister.
When their mother’s will called for a guardian other than my parents, it was decided that Deanne, Tommy and Tony would go to a home for orphaned children in Oklahoma.
I remember the day we drove away from Tipton, leaving them there.
For years they came and spent holidays with us. And when I was in the third grade I spent the night in Zellner Dorm with Deanne when she was a freshman at ACU.
Just like I had a sister, too.
I wonder if their lives were different because they came to stay with us?
I know mine was.