Ozzie has a wish. It is his “blow out the candle” wish, his “see a falling star” wish, his “toss a penny in the fountain” wish. If you ask him what he wants most in the world (other than a donkey to call his own) he will tell you that he wants to be adopted. He wants a forever home and a family to call his own.
I didn’t fully realize the intensity of his desire until we were watching a show the other day that was talking about adoption. We were in the living room and the girls were watching the show, The Little Couple, while Ozzie played on the floor. On the show the couple was sitting down to meet the director of an adoption agency about what they were hoping for in the adoption process. After expressing their desires the agency worker pulled a manila envelope from her bag and told the couple that she took a chance that they might be interested and brought the file of a child that needs adopted. It was at this point in the show I saw Ozzie perk up and start watching.
As he sat up taller and began focusing on the screen he said, “I wonder if it is me?!”
On the show the woman then began pulling out a photo of the child as she told them, “It is a little boy..”
At this point Ozzie was literally shaking with anticipation. “It could be me! I hope it’s me!” he said as he wrung his hands in anticipation of the reveal.
At this point I don’t know who was more excited, the little couple on TV or Ozzie.
The adoption worker continued, “”And he is from…”
Ozzie leaned closer to the TV.
“China,” the worker finished. “
“Oh Man!!” Ozzie shouted out with all the disappointment of someone who missed winning the lottery by one number.
When Ozzie was placed in our home he was placed here as a pre-adoptive placement which means he is a foster child that will be adopted but because of previous failed pre-adoptive placements he was told that this was just a foster home and we were just his foster parents. Those that are in charge of Ozzie’s case didn’t want him disappointed again and they weren’t sure we would “stick” so we were told that we couldn’t tell him that we were adopting him. This put us in a tough position because we already knew he was ours, the people in our life knew we were adopting Ozzie, the only one who didn’t know was the one person who most needed to know…Ozzie.
The result of that secret was a lot of uncertainty on the part of Ozzie who was falling in love with this new home and new family but lived in fear that it would be snatched away. He longed for the security of knowing that this would be his forever home and yet we weren’t allowed to give that to him. He would ask us daily if we would adopt him and when we couldn’t give him a definitive yes (due to judges orders..Grrr) he would try to bargain. “If I promise to always keep my room clean will you adopt me? If I never fight with Tyler again will you adopt me?” It broke my heart to not be able to just scoop him up in my arms and say, “You are already ours. You will always be ours.”
Tuesday we had a court hearing for Ozzie. It was scheduled for 9:00 am at the City County building downtown Pittsburgh. Everyone was a little nervous going into it due to stories we had heard about this particular judge and past court hearings. Ozzie went with one wish and one agenda…to convince the judge to let him be adopted by us. When our case was finally called we went into the courtroom where Ozzie, his sister, and the lawyer sat in front of the judge while Toby and I, along with the other foster mom, sat behind. The judge listened as the social workers testified. During their testimony Ozzie was scolded by the judge for talking. He wasn’t talking to anyone he was actually mumbling but because of the microphone placed in front of him all you could hear over the testimony of the workers was Ozzie’s eager plea, “Please let me get adopted, please let me get adopted.” A little boy’s wish whispered with eager longing.
A lot happened during that hearing…both good and bad… but the blessing that came from that intense 45 minutes was a wish granted. The judge told Ozzie that we would be adopting him. He told him it wouldn’t happen for many months but that didn’t matter to Ozzie. He was just overjoyed that his wish came true. As we were walking out he told us, ” You are my favorite parents I ever had. I was hoping you would adopt me and now my wish came true!” As we walked back to the car he eagerly informed anyone who walked within earshot that he was going to be adopted. As we drove home the reality of what that meant for his life hit him as he started listing the blessings, “This means I never have to move again, and I never have to pack my stuff up, and my room will be my room forever…”
As I listened to him speak the effect on me was profound. Oh, the blessings I take for granted. Things like knowing where I will be sleeping tomorrow and where I will be living next year are blessings I rarely take notice of much less give thanks for. I was humbled as I listened to Ozzie bubble over with joy.
When we arrived home Ozzie hopped out of the car, eager to share his good news with the other kids. He raced to be the first inside. As he burst through the door with his hands held high in victory stance he shouted, ” Guess who is getting a new brother??”
” You are!!”
“Aren’t we all lucky?!”
Lucky…Blessed…whatever you want to call it, a wish came true today.