I agreed to take “Mini D” in because of the real possibility that it could become a Forever Thing. Extensive work done by the Dept of Children & Family Services (DCFS) and the Children's Court and my Magic 8 Ball all said, “Outlook Good.”

We were within weeks of starting the paperwork for adoption when Life had other plans. “Better Not Tell You Now” … “Concentrate and Try Again”.

Sparing you some of the dark details (for both the children’s sakes) the winds changed… the tone of the phone conversations with DCFS changed.

I was just waiting for the other shoe to drop.

I tried to push aside the foreboding when I took Mini D grocery shopping. He smiled and tried to grab whatever he could. “Papa! Papa!” he would shout (yeah, by this point he was up to a few word sentences, and we had real conversations).

Little old ladies smiled as we strolled by.

Then the phone rang at 1pm.

“I’m sorry,” they tried to say sympathetically, “but you have to pack him up.”

“OK,” I stammered, “how soon do you need me to do that?”

There was a slight pause.

“We’ll be there in an hour.”

“But--,” was all I could say, “I don’t have enough suitcases.”

“Just use black plastic bags.”

Those. Damn. Black. Plastic. Bags.

The Scourge of Foster Care.

I didn’t want to do that.

I didn’t want to do any of that.

But I grabbed what I could and put them in as few bags as possible.

“Whatchu watching there, buddy?” I asked to the precious angel on the bed.

He just pointed.

“Minions?” I asked.

“Stu-art” he said in his little voice.


I spent the hour going back and forth between collecting what I could – things I know he’d look for that night – and hugging, and kissing, and taking as many pictures as I could.

“I’m gonna miss you so.”

I tried to capture the moment… hold on to it… stop it from going any further.

But time wasn’t going to wait for us, nor was it going to be kind.

“I’m here,” said the same Social Worker who brought him to me.

“We’ll be right down.”

I went down to the garage alone… to let the car in… to pack as much as I could without D seeing it… and to move his car seat to the other car.

Finally, the moment came. We couldn’t get EVERYTHING in, and he told me that they’d arrange something.

I put D into the car seat and told him that he was going to see some very special people.

I kissed him for the very last time.

The Social Worker gave me a sad look, a nod, and another “I’m sorry” before he closed the door.

Then I stood there, frozen, while they drove away.

Never to be seen again.



The biggest gift I want to give my son is a trip to England in April 2023 when I’m showing my art in a gallery in London. Please help make this dream come true. Every little bit helps.

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