Monday, February 25, 2008
Jo has a thing for Dickens. I've tried to discourage it--I admit freely that I am not a fan--but it keeps cropping up like a bad penny. She has a few other annoying interests (such as the Newsboys and clip-on earrings) but all in all, she is doesn’t manifest too many of those things that make me want to pull my hair out. I mean really--if the worst your ten year-old does to get your goat is quote Dickens, I think things are going pretty well.
But this post isn’t about Jo. Not really.
Today was the day that our honeymoon with Little Man ended. After a leisurely morning of trying to figure out how to go about our normal Monday routine of stripping beds, getting new sheets on, finishing our other chores and still trying to enjoy the 14 month-old in our midst, we threw our hands up in the air and gave ourselves over to trying to elicit as many toothy baby grins as we could.
At about 10 a.m., I realized that if I wanted to squeak a shower in before driving down to the drop-off point, I’d better get to it. Taking a cue from Little Man’s fostermom, I plunked him in his crib with an assortment of toys and ran off to take the fastest shower I’ve ever managed. (YES, I used a baby monitor. RELAX.) When I returned precisely seven minutes later, I found Jo, Atticus and Logan dancing and singing in front of the crib, making Little Man so happy that he was literally banging the bars with joy.
“He’s loving whatever you’re doing, guys,” I pointed out.
“Of course,” Jo answered with one of her more dramatic bows. “We’re doing ‘Oliver!’”
“Oliver!” (the musical adaptation of the Dicken’s classic Oliver Twist) was a library find about a year ago. I am going to be really honest and tell you that I turned the VHS box over so that Jo wouldn’t see it’s cover. I also tried to rush her past the entire section. But no. It caught her eye, and she asked to watch it, and the rest is history. I’ve been hearing “You’ve Got To Pick a Pocket or Two” at least weekly ever since.
Little Man apparently found the entire catalog quite fascinating, which obviously warmed Jo’s heart to no end. I have a feeling I’m in for a lot more “It's a Fine Life” and other cloying tunes.
Anyhow, Jo went on to muse over how, in some ways, our Little Man has had the same rough start as Oliver. We haven’t hidden from our children the fact that the only reason that Little Man is with us in the first place is that his biological mommy and daddy made poor choices in taking care of him. We haven’t shared any details, but we want them to be prepared for the questions they will hear people asking. The sad truth of foster-adoption is that these kids are coming to you for a reason--usually a pretty ugly reason. Many of the children in fostercare tonight have lived through far worse than little Oliver in the Dickens story, and if Jo has decided that the song and dance routines of a 1968 musical represent her new foster-brother's first few months of life, I've not going to scare her with the much more brutal facts of the case.
The beauty of “Oliver Twist” is that Oliver finds a home. Granted, it’s a soft-focus, neatly tied-up ending of a home where he’s rich and beautiful and nothing is ever wrong again. While I don’t buy into all of that, I do very much believe in this: the home that Oliver finds himself in is the one that he was meant to have all along. It was a circuitous route that led him there, but he landed exactly where God intended.
And that’s what I’m thinking about Little Man. He’s coming back to us for good on Friday. Well, at least we think it’s for good. Foster-adoption is never 100%, don’t forget. But it is still very much subject to God’s will ... and that’s 100% accurate at all times. So even if Little Man is not ours forever, we have to trust that, like Oliver, he’s going to wind up exactly where God wants him.
So, with that in mind, I’ve decided to call our new little one Oliver for the intents and purposes of this blog. Because we’re praying that at the end of this journey, when the gavel bangs, our little Oliver will be sharing our last name.