Child #10 ( at the end of the table) is the only one child I have not written about and probably the hardest. Anthony also has the most difficult to understand past of all of our children. He went into foster care at the age of two years old with his three year old brother and two younger sisters, due to severe neglect. His brother had got hit by a car whole playing in the street unattended. They were separated from their sisters almost immediately, as it is almost impossible to find a home that will take 4 children under 4 years old. Anthony was to never see his sisters again or know what became of them other than that they were adopted soon after going into care.
Anthony and his brother were moved from home to home. Many families wanted to take them due to their young ages. However none were prepared for the behaviors that they exhibited due to the neglect and abuse they had experienced. Anthony came to us at the age of 13 years old. He had been in more homes than he could count. Last count was over 23. He has lived all over Texas and even for a while with a prospective adoptive family in another state, only to be returned when they found out the behaviors were too much.
Anthony was quiet and reserved. He was easy to please and would eat anything put before him. He never asked for anything and was easy to care for. He was hard to get to know but immediately bonded to our older son. Children from hard places, that have been in the system for many years have lots of social deficits and Anthony was no exception. We had to teach him to make eye contact and to not mumble. He hated to have his hair cut because his scars would show he would cringe when touched. At the age of 17 Anthony unfortunately made some bad choices and ended up in jail.
I was hesitant to tell this story, but I can not act like child #10 does no exist. He is a product of the system he grew up in. He was never taught the skills he needed to make it in the world. Never had parents to tell him what a great kid he is. No one to hold him. No one to make him feel like he had a future or to even make him feel safe. Anthony is one of the statistics that no one wants to talk about because it is not the cute and cuddly side of adoption.
Anthony is also a real person, and I know that God and something great in store for him. Sometimes no matter how hard we try as parents to help our children we just have to let go and let God handle it from here.