“Wait what? Are you kidding me?” I asked, “who are you again?”
“Like I said, I am Laura Deon. I am Kelly’s supervisor. I am sorry Mr. Hamel, it is nothing against you. You have actually done great work in this short time you had the boys. However, we have a protocol, you cannot have guardianship until you become a foster parent.” Laura spoke.
“So you are going to shake these boy’s lives up again? Just when I thought CPS was doing something correct for once, you completely botch another case. I mean you have to be fucking kidding me.”
“Watch your language Mr. Hamel,” Injected Laura.
“Don’t you fucking dare tell me what to watch in my own fucking home,” I screamed. With that said, the older gentlemen took a step forward and put his hand on my chest.
“You got to be fucking kidding. Step off me, touch me one more time and see what happens.”
The older gentlemen released his touch and backed away.
“That is enough Mr. Hamel, we are not your enemy here,” Laura began.
“Kelly?” I begged for help.
“I’m sorry Garret, I am so sorry, but I have tried.” Kelly said, “temporary guardianship only happens in extreme cases like the one the Barnard Boys went through. You are going to have to apply to become a foster parent and get custody of them.”
I dropped my head in disgust and began, “This is a joke right? Because nothing makes any sense. I have all the money in the world to pay for expenditures such as great doctor care, amazing schools, and extracurricular activities. I have the best environment you are going to find anywhere in the state, hell anywhere in the damn United States, fuck, I will even say the world. Why do you want to strip them of all these possibilities? Do you feel bad that you didn’t know they were in a shitty situation before this tragic event, that it will warm your heart to try to fix this? Please give me one good reason why you want to strip these wonderful boys of an amazing life, besides the fact that it is fucking protocol?”
Now Laura hung her head low and spoke “Mr. Hamel, you have a job.”
“Had,” I interrupted her.
“Okay, you had a job. You must have been successful at it to afford a lifestyle like this. In your job, you had a set of rules to follow, you might have been the boss, but I guarantee that you had to follow some type of industry protocol or something, correct?”
“Yes, you’re correct.”
“Did you follow them?” She asked
“Yes” I replied
“Then you see our standpoint, I would so much rather place these boys with you, but I can’t. I CAN NOT place these boys under this house with someone who isn’t approved by CPS. Do I make myself clear.”
In disbelief, I said, “I see your point, but Laura, you are going to devastate these boys.”
“Well use that as motivation to get approval for becoming a foster parent.” Laura roared, “Now Mr. Hamel, I will not ask again. Where are the boys?”
I was speechless as I moved aside so Laura, Kelly, and the older gentleman could step inside my house.
“Before we wake them, I have a few questions,” I said.
“Okay” agreed Laura and Kelly.
“One, are you going to split them? Two, which foster care house are you taking them to? Three, how long until I get approved to be a foster parent? Four, who is assigned as the caseworker?”
Kelly spoke first, “we are not going to split them. We can not give you the name or location of their new foster parents. However, we believe they are a good fit. Third, it could take anywhere from a week to a month. Lastly, I will be their assigned caseworker.”
“What do I need for approval?” I asked.
“Personal background checks, report of financial stability, home inspection, and personal references,” Laura said.
“Okay, I already have a state and federal background check completed within the past two months for a Non-profit organization I am trying to start. I can get my financial report and personal references to you by tomorrow. When can you conduct a home inspection check?” I asked.
“We could send someone out by Wednesday 8am if that works for you?”
“You can’t do any earlier?” I inquired.
Laura said, “No, afraid not.”
“This is a joke, complete joke.” I reinstated.
“I know this isn’t what you wanted Garret, but since you already have the background check, this process will move a lot quicker,” Kelly insisted. I couldn’t even look at my sister, as I was in complete disbelief with her and CPS.
“Fine, whatever is,” I added.
“I assume the boys are still sleeping?” Laura said.
“No, they’re out for a run, practicing for a marathon.” I sarcastically said.
“You heard me, you need your ears checked or something? Or better yet, want me to restate it?” I said, “No? No? Okay good, here is how this is going to go. I am going to wake up the boys while you three stay down here. We will tell them together, and you can experience this with me, and you can take 100 percent of the blame for taking them away. Any objections?”
“Garr,” Kelly began to speak.
“Shut it, Kelly.” I took a five-second pause as I looked for the next fool to speak, “No objections? Good, there is a fresh pot of coffee on the counter, Kelly knows where everything is. Make your self at home…….. Except you, you old fucking creep,” as I pointed to the gentleman. He responded by giving me the finger.
“Actually, get the fuck out of my house.”
“No.” the gentleman spoke.
“He speaks? Oh my god it is a miracle.” I said.
“Fuck off,” the gentleman replied
“Archie, outside we have this covered.” Laura ordered.
“What? Are you kidding me, this guy is crazy,” The gentleman spoke.
“Hey, he is still my brother, and he won’t do anything to us,” Kelly said.
“Whoa, she does stick up for me? Haven’t seen that in a while,” I said directed to Kelly.
“Don’t be a bigger asshole than you already have been,” she returned.
“Coming from you, HA funny,” I said seriously. I walked the gentleman to the door and guided him out. I locked the door and proceeded upstairs. I went to my bedroom first to gain my composure. I was fuming, in disbelief, and sad but I couldn’t show it. I had no clue how we are going to tell them, but I knew the reaction wouldn’t be good. I stepped out of my room and into Clayton’s room.
One by one I went to all the boy’s bedrooms and told them, “Wake up, get dressed. We have some people downstairs that would like to talk to you all.”
I went back downstairs to grab a cup of coffee and sat with the others at the kitchen table as the boys started to come downstairs.
Clayton was the first to appear, as he walked over and took place on my lap.
“Sleepy still,” I asked gently poking him in the sides.
“Yah,” he giggled, as I went from poking to embracing my little man.
“You are so warm,” I said.
“Thanks,” he spoke as he fell back into my chest even more.
Next to arrive were Lincoln and Ryker, I could see on their faces that they seemed concerned. Both took empty chairs around the table. Jacob was last to appear and stood behind his brothers instead of sitting.
I heard Laura whisper to Kelly, “this is going to be harder then I thought.” To which Kelly nodded her head in agreement.
“Lincoln, Ryker, Jacob, and Clayton Barnard. You four are to come with us. You can no longer stay at this house for the time being.” Laura said stone-faced.
“Yeah real hard,” I thought to myself.
“They can’t make us go right?” Lincoln asked as he looked at me.
I looked at Lincoln and saw tears forming, I quickly began speaking, “I am afraid so bud. I don’t have the proper authority to do anything or stop it.”
“You can’t take us away from here…” Ryker tried to speak, “where are we even going to go?”
“We will tell you more about it on the way there,” Kelly spoke.
“You’re not going to tell them where they are going?” I interjected.
“We can’t discuss information with you around, I am sorry,” Kelly said.
Trying not to lose my cool in front of the boys, I simply replied, “They have the right to know before getting in a car with you.”
Laura and Kelly both looked at each other and agreed to make an exception, “First to the doctors. Second to the police station for questioning. Third to a new foster parent location.”
“No,” Clayton said.
“I am sorry Clayton,” Laura said. Jacob was remaining silent through all of this. I desperately wanted to know what he was thinking, but my thoughts were interrupted by Laura saying, “You boys have five minutes to gather your stuff up, whatever you can’t take, Kelly will come back to get.”
“Nooo!” Clayton cried, “I don’t want to leave,” as he gripped my arm.
“Yeah, I don’t want to either. First time I have liked someplace I’ve stayed.” Ryker said through his tears. Unfortunately, all I could do is comfort them. I couldn’t say much, not even tell them that everything will be alright because I no longer had control of the situation. Surprisingly Lincoln and Jacob were not saying much.
“There is nothing you can do Garret?” asked Clayton.
“Afraid not Clay,” I sad as I hugged him.
“Alright, everyone needs to get a move on.” Commanded Laura. The boys slowly moved and went upstairs. We didn’t have luggage to carry their new clothes, so I gave them each two plastic bags to put their clothes in. As they were exiting the house, I stood in the doorway to see them off. With tears in my eyes, I received hugs from all the boys but Lincoln. Lincoln, didn’t even make eye contact with me, as he just walked right by and stepped into the van.
“What is that about?” Kelly asked.
“I wonder what it could be. Maybe the fact that Lincoln is getting taken away from a place he feels comfortable. Or maybe it is because I look so helpless and powerless, that he doesn’t think I tried to keep him here. Or better, it’s probably a mixture of both.” I angrily said.
Kelly just looked at me and had nothing to say. This was the first time I have ever heard her speechless, As the rest of the boys got into the van, I waved goodbye. I turned around and walked into my empty house.
“What a different feeling this was.” I thought “I only had the boys for a day and a half, but now my own house feels weird and awkward.” I went to my family room and just sat on my couch pondering my next move. The love, fun, and joy were swept out of this house. I only had one thing on my mind, Whiskey. Yeah yeah shoot me, I should be running to CPS to file to become a foster parent, but I only have one thing on my mind, drink this pain in my heart away. I went to my liquor cabinet and opened a fresh bottle of Johnnie Walker Blue Label. Put some ice into a cup and poured me a full glass. It was around 9:30 a.m., and I had a damn good buzz going, I walked back to the cabinet and poured myself another round. Walking back to the couch, I put down half the cup. I wanted to drink this day away and start fresh tomorrow.
I must have dozed off because I was awoken by my aid who was returning from her vacation.
“Rough night Garrett?” Rita asked.
“Huh? What time is it?” I inquired.
“It is 12:30, I haven’t seen you sleep in this late ever. It must have been a rough night.”
“Is it Monday?” I asked confused.
“Wow, now its official, I haven’t seen you this out of it since the Christmas Party of 2014.”
“More like a rough morning.”
“Morning? You mean you drank this morning.”
“Yeah, it is a long story. You have a lot of catching up to do.”
“What do you mean?” Rita asked with a concerned look on her face.
“Let me get a quick shower, and I will explain everything. Can you have Advil ready for when I come back down? My head is killing me.” I said, “Oh, I almost forgot. How was your vacation back home?”
“It was wonderful, much needed. Thank you for paying for it.”
“Rita, don’t mention it. You make this house function.”
“Ya, I know. Now Go get your shower and sober up. You look terrible,” Rita commanded.
Rita was a terrific lady, she has been helping me out since 2012 by taking care of the house, cooking for parties I’ve hosted, and keeping my life in order. She is in her early 60’s, and of Cuban descent. She was born in Key West Florida, so Rita doesn’t have much of an accent. She has black hair with a tint of grey. She has never been married and owns an apartment about 20 minutes away from my house.
As I walked back downstairs, Rita had cooked me lunch. She made a turkey club sandwich with fresh grapes and apple slices she picked up from the store earlier.
I took one bite and said, “Oh, I’ve missed this cooking. I’ve been eating way too much fast food.”
“I know, I can tell,” Rita spoke, as she always told the truth and gave it to you straight.
“Thanks,” I laughed. I took my two pills of Advil with a sip of water.
“Garret, your Ferrari is supposed to be delivered by three.”
“Oh shit, I completely forgot about that,” I said. I ordered a brand new Ferrari 458 from the dealership about six months ago. It was custom made to my liking. White exterior, with black rims, and black and white leather interior for a pretty penny of $500,000.
“How’d you forget about that? You’ve been raving about it for the past six months,” Rita inquired.
“Rita, you won’t believe me if I told you. But this weekend has changed me.”
“What happened, please tell me. I’ve been so nervous,” she said.
“Well, it’s a long one. It started on Saturday night. I finished my time volunteering at the homeless shelter. I saw this boy in the parking lot, he is 11 years old and was in terrible condition. He had blood stains and dirt on himself and his clothes. He basically looked near frozen to death. I brought him back to my house to recover. Gave him food, a bath, and warmth. As he was talking to me, he tells me about his brothers……” I continue to tell the long story.
“And where are they now, I’d love to meet them all?” Rita asked
“That’s the problem, they were taken away from me by CPS. I am going to file to become a foster parent and get them back into my custody.” I said.
“Why not adopt them?”
“I haven’t considered that option yet.”
“Wait I’m confused, why were they taken?” She asked
“Beats me, I am devastated, and I believe the boys are as well. Lincoln didn’t even give me a hug when he left, but I couldn’t do anything to stop it.” I stated, “that’s why I drank that whiskey and got a buzz going at 9:30 a.m., nothing makes sense to me as I feel they were taken for no reason.”
“Garret!” She shouted, “you should be ashamed of yourself, you sit here and drink yourself into a stupor. How dare you. Those boys need you, and you help them by falling asleep on the couch from drinking at 9:30 in the morning. Fucking unbelievable.”
“Rita, I’ve never heard you swear before,” I said in a scared tone.
“Yeah, because you’ve never seen me this mad. I have lost a lot of respect for you Garret. I thought you would be out there fighting for them, but instead, you are sitting around feeling sorry for yourself.”
“I know Rita.”
“Apparently, you don’t know.”
“Well, what am I suppose to do?” I asked.
“Start getting your financial records sent in, print out your background check information, and start getting your references in order.”
“What about the delivery of the Ferrari?”
“I will take care of that, now go get dressed in better clothes and start getting a move on.”
“Should I drive?” I pondered
“Do you feel drunk? When was the last drink?”
“Around 9:30-ish” I spoke.
“Well now it’s 1:45 p.m., give it another hour. Make phone calls to your references while you wait.” She insisted.
“What would I do without you,” I said.
“You may find out soon if you ever do something stupid like that again.”
As I walked into my office, I asked Rita for a cup of coffee. I looked through my phone and knew my first reference would be Kelly, while my second would be my Mother. I dialed my Mother’s number and waited for her to answer.
“Hey, honey how have you been” my mother greeted me.
“Hey mom, I’ve been better. How’s dad?”
“Old grump like always,” she laughed.
“I heard that,” My father said in the background.
“Well that’s good,” I said, “look, the real reason I called is to ask for help.”
“Sure what is it hon?” She asked.
“CPS is going to contact you, you know for my organization I am trying to start,” I lied to my mom.
“Okay?” She asked confusedly.
“Well I need a reference, and I am going to put you down. It’ll probably be basic questions such as how am I around kids and so forth, you’ll just have to tell them the truth and be upfront and honest with the answers.”
“Garret I would love to be a reference!” She said excitedly, “When should I be expecting the call?”
“I don’t know, but I will find out and contact you.”
“Alright, you let me know,” she said.
“Thanks, mom, love you,” I stated as I hung up the phone. I took a sip of coffee and tried to figure out why I lied to my mother about the reason CPS would be calling. I think it was my way of not getting my mothers hopes up. She has wanted grandchildren from me for ages, and if I had told her I was going to be a foster parent, it would be non stop bugging me. Justified with my reasoning, I went to my second reference, Keith Watson. Keith is helping me set up my foundation, he is also one of the leading contributors besides myself.
“Hey Garret, was just about to call you. We need to set up a name and cause for the foundation, besides helping the less fortunate children,” Keith said when he picked up the phone.
“Hey Keith, we may need to put our foundation on hold for a little. I have had something come up and actually need your help.” I responded
“Yeah sure. You okay?” he concerned.
“Yeah I am fine, I just need a personal reference. I am applying to become a foster parent.”
“Wow, that is very honorable.” He reiterated, “you’ll make some child’s wildest dreams come true when you introduce them to your life.”
“Will you do it?” I asked
“Of course, just give them my personal cell phone and not the work number.”
“Thank you so much,” I said graciously.
“No problem, in this month break, you better come up with a name for this organization.”
“I will have one to you by the end of the weekend. Sound fair?”
“I can work with that,” he replied.
“Thanks,” I said and hung up the phone. I felt I only needed three references but to add a security measure I decided to call my brother Lucas next.
“Hey Garret, you know your nephews have been dying to come see you again,” Lucas said. Lucas has 3 children and all boys. Their names and ages are LJ (Lucas Jr.) ten, Ashton eight, and Jackson six.
“We just saw each other at Christmas, didn’t I heckle them enough?” I laughed.
“Apparently not enough,” Lucas chuckled.
“Hi Uncle G,” a squeaky voice came through the phone.
“Hmmm wonder who that could be, having a hard time placing a name to the voice. You know what, I got nothing, a name isn’t ringing any bell,” I joked as I knew who it was.
“It’s LJ,” He said quickly.
“Oh yeah forgot about him.”
“Funny, not,” LJ said, “did you get the Ferrari yet?”
“Coming in today bud, I’ll send some pictures later.”
“Awesome! Thanks, Uncle G, love you,” he said as he put his dad back on the phone.
“So what’s up?” Lucas said.
“Hey would appreciate if you don’t talk to anyone about this especially Calvin or Mom, but I am applying to become a foster parent,” I said.
“Hmm, not going to lie, I am sort of surprised by this,” he returned.
“It is a very long story that is better told in person, but I just need you as a reference for CPS to call.”
“This is really strange, you know that Garret.”
“I will explain later I promise, but I just need someone as a reference. I already have 3 and need one more as a safety measure.”
“Alright, put me down as one. However, I am going to want an explanation sooner rather than later.” He reiterated.
“Thanks man, love ya. I promise I will give you a valid reason to why but I just don’t have the time.”
“Alright, I trust you. Tell Rita we all say hi and miss her.”
“Will do. Talk to you later.” I said and hung up the phone.
My next call was to Heather McFera, my financial planner, and investor.
“Hey Heather, how are you doing today?”
“I am fine Mr. Hamel, now what do I owe the pleasure of this call?”
“I was wondering if you could send me a statement on my financial records and stability for the past 3 years.”
“No problem, have them sent to your email immediately.” She said.
“Awesome thank you, how has the stock market treated us,” I asked.
“Fairly well, this month we have made $750,000 in returns.”
“Awesome, invest half of that back in and send the rest to my bank,” I stated.
“Will do Mr. Hamel, anything else I can do for you?”
“I believe that is all, thank you.” And hung up the phone.
Calling everyone took a bit longer then I expected but was much worth It. I felt sober and ready to drive to my sister’s office.
It was around Three O’clock, and I hopped in the truck this time. As I drove down my driveway, I saw the Ferrari delivery truck pulling up the street. I was going to miss it but was 100 percent confident Rita could direct the men, to put it in the garage considering it was winter time, and I didn’t want the car in the cold.
When I arrived at CPS building, I walked into the lobby. I asked the receptionist if Kelly Schafer was in, much to my surprise she was.
“Here are the references and financial statement needed,” I said.
“Not even a hello, am I that low to you? Really, now you don’t even say hello to me before talking.” She responded.
“Look, Kelly, I don’t know what the hell your problem is. I am not here to chit-chat. All I want to know is what the next step is and how are the boys doing.”
“Calm down Garret, it was a joke.”
“Not a funny one, not when it is this serious,” I said.
“Well, I expected all this info a lot earlier if I am honest. Thought when I returned to the office at one you would be all over me.” She stated.
Lying through my teeth, I began, “Yeah well Rita returned from her vacation to Key West. I had to fill her in on the details and then made a lot of calls.”
“Yeah I can tell, we typically require two references. You have four, and one is even Mother. I am impressed.”
“Well mom doesn’t know the full details, I didn’t want to get her hopes up just in case something doesn’t go right. I told her it was for the foundation I am starting.” I said.
“She believes it?”
“Yeah, think so,” I returned.
“What about Lucas? How did he handle it?” She asked.
“I haven’t given him the full story besides wanting to become a foster parent.” I spoke, “Enough about the references, how are the boys?”
“I can not give you an update,” she said quietly.
“WHAT?” I slammed my hand on her desk.
“Garret there is protocol.”
“Fuck your protocol. Tell me immediately,” I demanded.
Kelly looked around and then began to speak, “they went to the police station, only Lincoln and Jacob were questioned because of the involvement of the case and sexual abuse. They took photo evidence of Lincoln’s bruises.”
“How’d they do?” I eagerly asked.
“Jacob just confirmed what you told me, and Lincoln didn’t speak a word. A matter of fact, he hasn’t spoken to anyone.”
“That worries me, Kelly,” I stated.
“Well it is somewhat normal, I will continue to monitor the situation.”
“Did they go to the doctors?” I asked.
“And?” I inquired.
“It is confirmed, Jacob and Lincoln have suffered sexual abuse. Lincoln, however, doesn’t know. Besides that, the boys are a little underweight and small for their age. Lincoln’s bruises are starting to heal, but he has been put on antibiotics to prevent infection. Ryker is excellent. Jacob’s health is fine, and Clayton is fine as well. It is recommended by the doctors that Lincoln and Jacob seek a mental evaluation.”
“Damnit, I was hoping Lincoln didn’t have to suffer that, he told me about a flashback he had, where he relived the encounter. It started with him telling his brothers to stay in the closet but that it was cut off with a man standing over him.”
“Well, eventually Lincoln will know, it might be better for him to find out on his own.”
“Yeah, we will see.”
“Anything else I can do for you Garret?” Kelly asked.
“Yeah, get these boys back under my guardianship as soon as possible.”
“We are working on it, I’ll call you tomorrow with news and information.”
I walked out of the building and drove home as I parked my car in the garage. All the way to my left was the beautiful Ferrari, but I had no will or energy to go and look at it. As I entered the kitchen, I found a note on the refrigerator door from Rita that read:
5:45 PM, I am calling it early today Garret. I made dinner and put it in the refrigerator. All you have to do is remove the foil and place it in the microwave for 3 minutes. There is freshly baked apple pie as well, there better be only 1 piece missing when I return tomorrow.
P.S. I still respect you, Garret, those words I spoke earlier were harsh considering I haven’t been through what you have, but I expect more from you as you should expect more from yourself. You could really change these boys lives and have a more significant meaning in life.
It was a quiet night, I didn’t have the boys to cuddle. I would do about anything for the boys and me to be watching the second Harry Potter film while eating popcorn. I ate my dinner alone and after I went upstairs to check on the boys to be greeted by empty bedrooms. It was just a really depressing evening. I decided to call it quits for the night and went to bed around 10 pm.
Two paths in front of me, one that is apparently better than the other. One seemed darker, less favorable while the other drew me in with bright, colorful illuminations. However this time there wasn’t a sound coming from the dark end. Just pure darkness and scariness. So I took a step to the bright side. It lit up with light even more. I took another step and started to see something off in the distance. I took another step and saw images of nice cars flying by my head. I took another step and saw more bags of money zoom by. I took another step and…
“Whoa,” I said, “what is this dream, why was it so different from the first one?”
It is now Tuesday morning, and I wanted to wake up and have Monday all be a big dream, but it wasn’t. I checked my phone for any new updates and saw nothing.
I went downstairs and saw Rita cooking some Pancakes.
“Good morning Garret.”
“How are you this morning Rita?”
“Oh jolly as always. How do you like the new car?”
“Haven’t even sat in it yet, to be honest, I haven’t even looked at it much. I have just been so depressed.” I stated.
“Well I looked at it, and it looks phenomenal.”
“I will take your word, Rita,” I replied.
“How many pancakes?” She asked
“Three will do just fine. Oh, thank you for dinner last night. Was delicious as always.”
“Your welcome, so what is on the agenda today?”
“Hopefully finding when I can get the boys back, I feel so helpless.”
“Well let me know if I can do anything to help you.”
“Thanks Rita,” I replied. I had eaten the three pancakes I asked for and went to my office to ponder going about my day. I decided to look at some news around the world first and some hockey updates. I looked at my phone and gave my sister a ring at 11:00 a.m.
“Hey Kelly, just seeing if you could give me an update on anything.”
“Well the police report is in, and we have some information about a potential family member related to the boys,” she said.
My heart sank, as I replied, “Who is the family member?”
“The boy’s Father’s mother is still alive. We are contacting her, CPS would rather place children with family members.”
“Lincoln said he didn’t have a grandparent,” I said.
“She lives in North Dakota, that is all the information I can give you about the family member.”
With my mind blown by this new information, and Kelly could tell through the phone, so she asked, “You okay Garret?”
“Yeah, I am just flabbergasted. I didn’t even think about the possibility of a family relative still being in the picture.” I said.
“I am sorry Garret, we will have to wait and see. It’s the only option we have,” Kelly assured me.
“Well, what about the police report?” I asked.
“This is interesting,” she began “so both the parents were involved in the drug trade. The father was a higher up drug dealer. The mother was in charge of distributing the drugs. They would sell anywhere from marijuana, heroin, cocaine, and LSD. Apparently, they had pissed off their supplier. They stole around 500,000 dollars worth of drugs from them, and the suppliers obviously didn’t like that. The police are not 100 percent sure but think the supplier was a local gang in the area. When the suppliers found out their goods were stolen, they attacked the house and killed the parents. Lincoln is fortunate to survive this attack, as are all the boys. Normally the local gangs set fire to houses they attack to destroy evidence, but the police feel that the gang left this as a statement for others to not mess with them. In other words, these boys got another chance at life. Now for the other guy found dead, police are not sure why he was killed. He does not belong to the gang, and it is really stumping detectives to how and why he was murdered.”
“Whoa,” was all I managed to say.
“I know, how terrible.” She stated.
“Yeah Kelly, I am going to need some time to process this. One last question how is the foster parent process coming?”
“Beth, the women in charge of that sector, just finished calling your personal references,” Kelly said.
I asked, “And…”
“And I am not allowed to tell you. And you can bet your ass I’m not breaking that protocol.”
“Fine by me, call or text me with any news about the boys. Talk to ya soon.”
“Bye,” she said and hung up the phone.
The rest of Tuesday was pretty dull. I finally went and looked at the Ferrari and Rita was right. It was stunning, I took a few photos and sent them to Lucas for him to show LJ. Rita cooked meatloaf, and we ate together. She cleaned the house, knowing I have the home inspection tomorrow and left around 7:30 p.m. I grabbed a small glass of whiskey to drink and turned on the Columbus Bluejackets game. After the game, I went upstairs to take a quick shower and went off to bed.
Wednesday: Same old same old, no news on the boys or my process of becoming a foster parent. It was starting to eat away at me. The home inspection lady from CPS came around 8:00 a.m. She was amazed by the house and told me it was the most excellent home condition she has ever seen for a potential foster parent. I had Rita to thank for that one, she really did do a tremendous job cleaning and making sure everything was correct.
Thursday morning came and went. Rita had cooked a delicious breakfast, and before long, I received a call from Kelly.
“Hey Kelly, please tell me you have good news,” I said.
“Garret, you aren’t going to like this. The grandmother is considering taking in the boys. We finally reached her yesterday, and she has some interest. She did state that she has never seen these boys before and that she hasn’t communicated with her son in fifteen years.”
“Then why does she want these boys,” I said in an angry tone.
“Beats me.” She said
“Well this is just great, where do we go from here?” I said.
“We only have one option, that is to wait.”
“Yeah you’re right, but this sucks.”
“I’m sorry little brother, I know these boys mean a lot to you.” She said.
I began to cry, “They do mean a lot, but I want what is best for them. Shipping them up to North Dakota with an old lady they never met, is not good for them.”
“I agree with you Garret.” Kelly said, “But this is the terrible part of my job. I know they would be better with you than her. But the state would give custody to her since she is related.”
“I know,” I said. “I am not mad at you, this is just terrible.”
“I know Garrett. I am going to let you go. If you have any questions or just want to talk, please give me a call. I am beginning to worry about you a little, maybe you should go talk to someone,” she suggested.
“I’ll be fine Kelly, thanks though.”