Todd is thirty-six years old today. He has been drifting in and out of my thoughts all day. So many memories. So many questions.
Todd is our foster son. He came to live with us when he was fifteen years old. He was a sweet boy with a long, troubled past. I never did learn all the stories of his life before he became part of our family. I know there were stories of abandonment, fear and abuse. All that seemed irrelevant to us. He was a boy in need of a home. We had a home that seemed too empty after our kids had grown and gone.
The picture above was taken shortly after he came to live with us. He did not trust people. We were just the next people in line to take care of him. There had been at least ten parental figures in his life before we knew him. He came to us from a children's home. He always referred to it as “The Home.” It never was just home. Our first year together was one of many ups and downs and adjustments. He became our son. We loved him. When he got into some major trouble he quietly packed his bags and prepared to leave. In his past life getting into trouble meant getting kicked out and moving on to the next place. We made him unpack and he stayed. I smiled when I overheard him talking to his friends and he referred to us as his mom and dad and invited his friends to come home with him. Life smoothed out. He learned to drive. He graduated from high school. The picture below was taken when he was seventeen. He was a beautiful boy.
He married and had a little baby girl, but adult responsibility was too hard for Todd. The social worker said he was troubled with attachment deficit syndrome. I believe that his early life had left him with a hole in his heart. One day he climbed into his truck and just drove away. We have not heard from him in over six years. I miss him.
His eleven year old daughter promised me this week that she would always love me. She promised she would never disappear like her daddy did.
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