When the news came, my parents were heartbroken and distraught. My dad and stepmom had been trying to have a baby for quite some time and had just learned that the chances were slim to none. That’s when they decided to participate in foster care. The idea of giving back to a family and allowing ours to grow at the same time was exactly what we were looking for. After many months of classes and tests, a two-year-old boy named Chase entered our lives.
At first I was very skeptical. A stranger was coming to live in my house and become part of my family. I didn’t know if I was ready for such a drastic change. With my sister at college, I was “big man on campus,” the baby, and most of all, my daddy’s little girl. I didn’t want to have to compete for his attention, but what I didn’t realize is that he would be competing for mine.
After the first month, I fell in love with Chase. He was very loving and filled with laughter. As soon as I got home I would run to find him and give him a huge hug. What were normally dirty chores, such as bath time and changing diapers, became extra time with him that I wouldn’t miss for the world. He grew with us and learned from us. I taught him as much as I could and played with him whenever there was a chance. He became my brother, just like flesh and blood. Then social services called.
Chase left us in December of 2007. My heart was shattered. I was more hurt than I had ever been in my entire life. I remember the day as if it were yesterday. I sat with him in his room the night before, clinging to the last bit of time we had to spend together. Chase, oblivious to what was going to happen the next morning, smiled and laughed and then easily dozed off to sleep. The next morning I woke up and got Chase ready and held him as long as I could. When the social worker arrived and took him away, it seemed to happen in a blink of an eye. One minute he was sitting on my lap laughing and the next I was alone. There was no more time to be spent playing, teaching, or loving Chase.
I cried myself to sleep for the next week, but after a while, the pain started to ease. There are still times when I see his picture or walk by the room he once called home, that I feel sorrow and loneliness. I wonder how he is doing, and if his new family is treating him well. All I can do is hope and pray that he has a life full of accomplishments, success, and love.
I never thought that a little boy would force me to grow up so fast. I now know to cherish the time you have with others and to show as much love and care as possible. I have also learned to look for the good things in a situation and appreciate them instead of focusing on the bad.
Chase’s journey helped me through my own and although there is still a bit of sadness when I hear his name, I know that I am a stronger person because of him. Chase came into my life for only a short period of time, but he shaped the person I am today and I am forever grateful.