Monday, April 28, 2014
EDWARD TELLS OF FAMILY
I remember when Michael went to Jean and David's house. I was so glad that he got the Foster Home that he wanted and was glad we could still go to school together and be friends. The thought never came to me that I would need a Foster Home or that when I got one, it would Jean and David's. Michael and I hung around Jean and David's and my Grandmother's house after school or sometimes on weekends when we got our chores done. So I knew Jean and David before I came.
When my Grandmother went to the hospital and the police officer told me I had to go to a Foster Home, I was scared. I was suppose to be packing for the policeman to take me, but I called Michael on the phone. Jean let me talk to Michael as it was their prayer time, she usually wouldn't. Michael told Jean and David what was going on at my house and David got on the phone, told me to give the phone to the policeman, which I finally did. I finished packing and was so happy to see a car pull in the driveway and David get out of the car. He talked with the policeman and told me he would stay with me and I was coming to their house.
I am not going into everything we did that night because I think Jean had that on another post and I don't really remember it all. My Grandmother did call Jean and David up and asked them if they would be my guardian and keep me in their home - which they agreed to. My Grandmother had me come into the hospital and told me what she had done. I was glad, that if I stay, I wanted in David and Jean's home. Grandmother knew I wanted life like the Old Order Mennonite. She told me she wanted me to go to college, but I was to live my life - not her life. So I was to pray and make the decision whatever decision I felt the Lord was leading me. Whatever I did was fine with her and I had her blessing.
When Grandmother passed, the thing that got me the most upset is not that I lived with Jean and David, because that is what I wanted, but that none of my family offered to take me. Not that I would have gone. That may sound dumb. They did offer David and Jean money to care for me, but they refused. My Grandmother's house was left to me and everything in it. David, Jean, Michael and I went over there and I took whatever I wanted out of it. Then David let the rest of my family in it to take what they wanted. Later David, Jean and I discussed what to do with the house. I never could live in the house again without my Grandmother, so we agreed to sell it. David and Jean wouldn't let me sell it until a few months after my Grandmother passed to make sure. When the house was sold, David and Jean set up an account for me in the bank where the money still is. My family kept thinking that David and Jean had taken the money and were spending it. They had to give an account of the money which showed they hadn't even kept a penny of it. Even the money that David and Jean got from Social Services for my being a Foster Child went into the bank. They used their own money to raise Michael and myself.
Jean and David told me the day after I came into their home that I was a member of their family. We go through the good times together and the bad times together. We work together and relax together. At that time, I didn't realize what that ment.
I had a hard time getting use to calling people by their first name. At the time Jean and David said I could call them by their first name. I was taught it was Mr or Mrs , etc. I call Grandmother and Grandfather by their title as they call it, but the rest is first name. Now, I also call David and Jean Mother and Father, not because they asked me too, I asked them if I could after a while and they said they would be very happy that if I did, but it was my decision.
I was never forced to change my dress style at meetings. All they asked was I wear black slacks and a white shirt. After attending meetings, I wanted to dress like they did, so Jean made me the clothes they wear.
Being without a TV didn't bother me much as my Grandmother only used our television for the news and once in a while a TV show like Lawrence Welk on the special channel. She thought there was too much violence on television. My Grandmother also didn't play the radio often because she felt that much of the new music wasn't fit listening too. I am glad that Jean and David's house has electric, running water, in door plumbing and telephone.
When David and Michael were going to New York City for the Yankee's Game, I thought I would be left home, but I wasn't. David and Jean said I was family and the men were going. Jean told us all to remember this, because the ladies are going to do their thing too, sometime.
Since, I have been in their home, I have been treated like a member of the family. I was so happy when they asked if they could adopt me. I couldn't believe it the day it happened. Michael and I still can't believe that we are brothers - even though our skin is different colors. Even before the adoptions Jean and David have always called Michael and myself sons and treated us like them.
Another thing unusual in their home is when major decisions are made, we discuss it as a family. David and Jean want to know what we think, too. Even Susan and Katie have a say. David Jr. is a bit small yet, but if he has something to say, we listen. Like when they bought the new to us farm, they took us all to see it, before they made the final decision. They said we will have to live there if they bought it and wanted to know that we approved.
When I wanted to me baptized, the former Bishop thought I was too young to make the decision as I was an outsider joining. Bishop Joseph had me take the lessons and pray. He explained that it would be for the rest of my life. If I changed my mind what would happen - so he made me wait longer before I joined - for me to make sure. In the outside world, I would still be considered a child, but in the Old Order Mennonite, I am a man. After waiting, I still wanted to so along with the others, I was baptized.
Michael chose to wait. He said he hasn't decided what to do, yet. I hope he decides to join to. No one is forced to make any decision.
I have a family now. I never had a Dad. My Grandfather died when was little, so I don't remember much of him. I don't know where my natural Father is or if he is even alive. I had no brothers or sisters. Now, I have a family of parents, brothers and sisters. I know I can go to Jean and David about anything.
So when I got baptized, I felt that not only was a member of God's meetings (church), but my family. My home family and my meetings family.