As a former foster mother I often wonder about the children we sheltered for a season. A few I still have contact with and I’m so glad. Seven we adopted and I’m glad about that too. But the others, those are the ones I wonder about.
How are they? Are they happy? Do they have children of their own? Do they remember us? Will we hear from them one day? I wonder.
One of those was a young boy we loved very much. His name was Carlos. He was not Hispanic and so many people asked him why he was named Carlos that he asked us to start calling him Chuck. He said he liked that name because of Chuck Norris.
He made us laugh with his slow drawl and his matter-of-fact attitude. He was with us from the time he was 8 until he was 10. He adored Daddy Henry.
When DHR managed to make contact with a birth family member who wanted to take him, we tried to be glad for him, but it was a sad time for us all.
About eight years ago, he called us. We were thrilled to hear from him after so long. We encouraged him to come see us. He declined. He said he didn’t want us to see him as he was. He said he had made some mistakes. He said he had been arrested. He said he was struggling with drugs. He told us of the harsh treatment, neglect and abuse he experienced at the hand of the family members who had taken him in. I cried.
And then as suddenly as we had been reconnected, we were disconnected. We lost touch. Since then I occasionally check social media and google his name. Just hoping and wondering.
This morning was one of those times and I finally found some information. It was not what I expected or hoped for. It was his obituary. He had passed away at the young age of 24. I don’t even know how. We didn’t even get to say good-bye.
Now my heart grieves for a child I have lost twice. I have told myself I should have done more, better, tried harder. When I shared what I had discovered with my husband, he was deeply saddened. He told me he should have been more diligent in praying for him. He said he was so sad to think of all the potential he had that was never realized.
I wanted to remember him and the best way I could do that was to write these words. We love you Chuck! You’ll always have a place in our hearts. We are thankful to have known you. Farewell sweet boy.