I am the mother of three beautiful boys. Chris 38, Ryan 31 and Evan 24. My husband and I are run a Little Caesars.
Six years ago, one of our employees named Sam gave birth to a beautiful baby boy named Matt. No-one in the company even knew she was pregnant. My oldest son, Chris was a friend of hers.
After giving birth, Sam was not allowed to take baby Matt from the hospital because he was born with drugs in his system. Sam had 2 options: let the state put the baby in foster care OR find someone to take him while she completed rehab.
Well five days later my oldest son Chris calls me on the phone and asked me if I would be willing to become baby Matts’ legal guardian. This was a rare request for two reasons one all my children were grown already and two… I have been in a wheelchair for the past 4 years.
I told my son that if I could convince Kent, my husband, because with me being in a wheelchair and not being able to drive, I would need to rely on his help.
So I called my husband and asked him what he thought. Of course his first reaction was I was crazy to even think I could raise another child with my medical limitations.
But for some unknown reason he said okay. I had a phone interview with DCS (Department of Children Services) which informed me that this situation was really rare.
Most babies exposed to drugs are placed in foster care because no family member ever steps up let alone a person with medical limitations like mine and no blood relation. But we have been so blessed in our lives and just wanted to pay it forward.
I never even gave the fact that I was in a wheelchair a second thought about being able to give this child the bonding it needed after coming out of the womb.
So 10 days later my husband and I went to the hospital and picked up baby Matt. Prior to picking him up, when some of my friends heard I was bringing a newborn into my house knowing all my kids were grown and I had nothing ready at my house for the baby, they came over with a car seat so I could pick him up, baby clothes, and even a crib.
I was so overwhelmed. Of course my husband kept reminding me that this whole situation was temporary and not to become attached to the baby. We were both done raising a family.
So with that in mind baby Matt came home with us. His biological mother and father were given visitation rights as long as I was present. This went on for 9 months because they did not complete parenting classes on schedule.
During those nine months Baby Matt had given me more than I could have ever imagined. I did not realize how depressed I had gotten from being in a wheelchair. I did not think I had anything to offer anyone any more.
Baby Matt needed me as much as I needed him. But the time had come and the courts had issued the biological parents full custody after going thru drug rehab and parenting classes. This was the outcome we had hoped for. We wanted baby Matt to be with his parents and live a happy life.
We kept in touch with Sam and helped her and her boyfriend get an apartment, helped them furnish it, made sure baby Matt had everything he needed.
We gave them everything that had been given to us, we also gave Sam and her boyfriend jobs, one working days and the other working nights so they would not have any child care expense.
We furnished Sam with a car at no cost so she would be able to work. Every month baby Matt would spend two weeks at our house so Sam and her boyfriend wouldn’t get overwhelmed with working and raising a child.
This went on for several months until one night when they came over to pick up Matt after he had been with me for 2 weeks, the very next day I get a phone call from Sam’s boyfriend asking if he could bring baby Matt back. Of course I said yes!
That was 6 years ago and the last time I have seen them. My husband and ended up adopting Matt. We are both 60+ years old and look more like Matt’s grandparents, but we are the only real parents he has even known!!!
This story was submitted to Positive Outlooks by Maggie Turtle. If you wish to submit an essay (reflections on life), personal story (inspirational or humorous) or something that you witnessed that inspired you, please go HERE.