So, I wrote last week in this post about our friend Brandon, and the young man he’s taken under his wing. Yesterday, Brandon brought the boy, Cash, to our house for SB’s birthday party. He was a shy and tall young man with a lot of thick, dark hair and an unassuming demeanor.
They came in and I handed Brandon a gif card I’d gotten for Cash. I wanted him to give it to him privately later, so he wouldn’t be embarrassed. Brandon and Cash melted into the party, and I resumed hostessing a large group of people. It wasn’t until much later in the day when most of the guests had left that I had a chance to connect with Cash.
We stood in my kitchen, side by side making small talk. He’d heard someone mention that Graham was adopted and we’d been foster parents, and was very interested in hearing about it. He asked a lot of questions about our experience, until my aunt blurted out, “Why are you so interested in foster care?”
Quietly, Cash answered, “Because I was in foster care a lot of my life.”
Everyone was silent, stunned. He went on to share a bit of his story. The moving around, his thoughts on the system. He wasn’t trying to garner sympathy, just speaking his truth. I could barely breathe. I looked over at my best friends, their eyes were round as saucers, mouths hanging open.
The atmosphere got pretty heavy. Here was this nice, shy, great looking kid who aged out of foster care, spent time in the Texas Youth Commision for a minor infraction, and now was on his own, with Brandon, his mom’s ex-boyfriend, as his only support. I had to hug him, couldn’t stop myself. There was a Divine reason for that young man to be in my kitchen at that moment., I am sure of that.
Later, the only extra guests were Brandon and Cash. I asked Cash to sit at the table with me and make some of the crafts leftover from the party. I put out a bunch of Christmas ornaments for the kids to make and take home, and there were a few left. Cash and I sat at the table, making decorations, talking more about his life, about the crazy coincidence that his mom and SB’s birth mom live in the same small town.
Cash told me that our house would be considered “foster care lottery” and that any kid that got sent here would be thrilled with the animals and the space, and the relationship my husband and I have. I talked to him about his next steps, offered input where it felt right.
I felt an instant connection and kinship to this young man, a strong desire to help him, to mother him. I didn’t want him to leave, but it was getting late. Cash proudly gathered up his completed crafts, and we hugged goodbye. I told him he was always welcome here, and that I wanted to see him again.
About a half hour later, I got a call from Cash, thanking me for the gift card. I told him, “Keep putting one foot in front of the other, and make good choices. Call me if I can help you.” I hope he does. I hope I haven’t seen the last of him. He touched my heart, and I hope to be able to touch his.