Suffice it to say that Bryan went back to Ruth after he had been with us for a little less than two months. We saw him several times during the next year and then 14 months later Ruth called me and asked if Bryan could come live with us again. She said “Bryan says he wants to come live with his real family.”
When Bryan first lived with us we had a small fish tank. One day Bryan said “the fish are all sleeping.” Apparently he and his cousin Dylon put fingernail polish in the fish tank. I tell this story because when I went and picked up Bryan after 14 months of being gone, (and I was fumbling with what to say to him) he mentioned this story to me and said“do you remember when I put fingernail polish with the fish?”
The following is a letter from my children’s biological grandmother after the boys’ adoptions were finalized: (Printed with her permission)
“Another family became interested in adopting the boys and they flew their daughter from Texas to meet the boys and Ruth. They fell in love with the kids right away and started bringing Ruth nice things and trying to win her friendship. (Meanwhile Ruth had broken her leg in two or three places by falling on the ice in December). It had become my job to take care of my own children at my apartment, take care of Bryan, Cole and Ruth at their apartment, and try to get the boys ready and dressed and off to a baby-sitter so I could go to work each day. As the main worker and child advocate in the case, I was ready to place the boys anywhere they could be happy and have a good life which I thought they deserved. I felt that neither Ruth nor I could supply all their needs and at that point the concern for their welfare was great.
Preston and Ruth in May 2002Here is where the next major step in the miracle began….an attorney contacted Ruth and said there were other people interested in the adoption, and we might as well meet with the prospective parents…..Mykel and Camille Henrie! That was all it took! The other people were not even in the running once I met the Henries! When they arrived at Ruth’s apartment to meet her and the boys, the decision was made in my heart. Bryan climbed up on the couch and sat right by Camille. I never saw two people look more alike than those two! It felt right and appeared right. The rest of the story is so complicated and took two years, but it is a story that can certainly be told from many perspectives.
The long process of convincing Ruth was the hardest part. She wanted to keep all three of the boys very much. I kept talking and talking and pointing out how much difficulty she was having trying to take care of all their needs and make them happy. She gradually saw that she was not able to provide all they needed and one by one let them go….though it was a very hard decision to make.
Bryan with Ruth (his birth mother) and Valorie (his biological grandmother) during a kindergarten performance of The Gingerbread Man. I love this picture!
We all cried many, many times over the boys parting. If I could convey one message to the three boys, it would be to never think that you were not wanted by your birth family, because you were wanted a lot, and loved a lot; we all just wanted the very best for you which we were not able to provide for several reasons.
WE STILL LOVE YOU!”