Meet our newest button boy, J5. I remembered shortly before we went to get him that I had a small stash of brand new Build-A-Bear Workshop animals in their condo boxes and everything. We pulled one out and put his name on it and placed it on his bed so we could tell him we had a surprise for him when we got home.
I wish with all my heart I could say this was an easy pick-up. It wasn’t. It was heartbreaking. And it involves a sibling of his, whom we briefly saw as she was saying good-bye to him and she was devastated he was leaving the shelter and she was sobbing. And I cried. And my case worker cried. And my girls cried. And I begged to be able to bring her home with us too. We’re going to try again tomorrow. In the meantime, you can understand that he did not want to leave her there and come with us. It’s a long story and not one I feel fully able to tell, but suffice it to say it involved some hands and knees, a little bit of kicking, a high-speed chase across the shelter parking lot, and single scoops of ice cream from Braum’s. It ended with with one little boy, excited about his new puppy, thankful for new-to-him pajamas, and going to bed when we asked him to, no questions, no complaints.
We have no idea what tomorrow holds, or the coming week, but this is going to be a different scenario for sure. And I’m going to bed in tears tonight over the brokenness in our world and the crap that adults put kids through all over – all over our country, all over our state, all over our city. It’s right in our backyards. It’s wrong. It’s so very wrong. No 5yo should have to experience what this one is experiencing.
It’s not the way things are supposed to be.
And after we finally got him in our van and we were pulling out of the shelter parking lot, I broke down in silent sobs in the front seat over what we’d all just experienced. Maddie looked at me with concern. I quietly apologized for breaking down. She softly said, “Mom, I would be more concerned if you didn’t.”