Tuesday, August 19, 2014
JEAN TELLS US ABOUT THOMAS
Elmer forgot to put up a gift that Anna wanted. Her greenhouse. Elmer had purchased it and it was stored in his old barn. When they went into move the cows, Bishop Eli asked him what was all wrapped up in the corner and Elmer remembered what it was. With moving and everything he forgot it was in there. David, Michael, Edward and Thomas are over at Elmer's house putting it up. Anna will have another surprise when they pull in the driveway.
Thomas is a 17 year old who was with another Old Order Mennonite Foster Home where it did not work out. I still haven't figured why it didn't work out. He had met Michael and Edward doing service. The boys wanted to be the ones that told him he was going to our house. So the Social Security people pulled up and we pulled up in a driver's car. Michael and Edward got out and walked up to Thomas. Thomas told them he was going to another house, but he didn't know where. Michael said he knew and added that he had always hoped that he would get a house like ours. Thomas said yes, that's what he wanted, but wouldn't get one. Edward told Thomas, you are coming to our house. Thomas thought they were kidding. So the Social Service people took him to our house. We followed behind.
All Thomas came with was a suit case. Nothing else. That was like when Michael came. Thomas dresses Old Order Mennonite, attends our daily prayers and goes to our meeting house. He has been wearing Old Order Mennonite clothes for several years. Even when we do chores he dresses in Old Order Mennonite clothes. He didn't have any casual clothes like Michael, Edward and David do.
We were concerned because at the first meal we all sat down at, he ate three servings. Now, we have had that happen with the men in our family before, but you would have thought this was Thomas' last meal. He is very thin. Social Services didn't give me a report on his medical.
Being a worried Mother, I called our doctor and made an appointment for Thomas. He couldn't eat after eight, the night before because the doctor wanted a blood test and other tests the next day before he saw him. After the tests and before the doctor, we bought Thomas some clothes, shoes, etc. at the stores. At lunch, he ate a lot.
Thomas wanted to go in alone to see the doctor and I let him as long as he gave the doctor permission to tell me everything on the report and he did. Doctors report is that Thomas is below what he should weigh for his size and weight. He hasn't been eating as much as he should. I explained that he eats a LOT at the meals like he hasn't been fed. The doctor said that could be the problem. It seems he hasn't been in a home where he was fed enough. All the tests came through just fine. He has a lot of muscle like a young person his age should. Thomas is also very nervous, but the doctor believes that is from changing homes again and again. He wants to comply with the rules in every house he's in. Doctors advice is to get some weight on Thomas. After living with us for a while, he will calm down - doctor hopes.
After discussing this with David, we decided it might be a good idea if Michael and Edward spoke with Thomas telling how they came here and that we don't strike anyone for punishment. If we must give punishment it is either extra chores or being sent to your room. When sent to your room only for about an hour and meals are never with held. So Michael and Edward did. That seemed to calm Thomas down a bit and time has seemed to help, too.
What information we have on him is that he has been a Foster Child for many years. He has a sister somewhere in the system, but hasn't seen her for years. He was going with a girl in Seneca Falls, NY who was Old Order Mennonite, but now having moved thinks he won't see her again. He won't tell us anything about the last house that we got him from. The reports only say that it didn't work it and that Thomas had done nothing wrong.
When I asked him what he wanted for dinner one morning, he said no one ever asked him that before. He told me it didn't matter, but he told the boys he would really wanted steaks and they told me. So that night we had steaks, potato salad, chow-chow relish, fresh corn on the cob and apple pie. We all really enjoyed that.
David and I explained to him that he is a member of our family. That we go through the good times and the bad times together. We work together and play together. We think he is a little afraid of us yet. He is a hard worker. There isn't any chore he won't do. He is very polite.
One evening we told about some of the times in our house like when David sent Michael to his room and forgot. Came supper time and we all sat down. Grandmother Olive asked where Michael was. Then David remember he had sent him to his room. We went and got him, David apologizing to Michael about forgetting him. We also told about the time Michael accidentally set the house on fire. The time that Susan ran down the cellar stairs and Edward was coming up and many more.
We found out that at his previous Foster Home, they did nothing on his 17th birthday, but wish him Happy Birthday. So we are giving him a belated Birthday party. After much tracking, we found the girl he was going with so she and her parents are coming to the party. Thomas doesn't know that. All of us are buying him gifts, but we think she will be the present he wants the most. Now we are trying to track down his sister.
Since Thomas has been here, he has calmed down a lot, but is still a bit nervous. He eats a lot, like the other young folks, but not like it is his last meal. One worry is that when he turns 18 next year, we are going to make him leave our house. David and I told him, we have never asked any Foster Child or adopted child to leave our house and we aren't starting now. This is his home. I think it will take him a while before he believes it.
Be With God,