Sunday, October 7, 2007

Smarty Sunday Book Recommendation: The Things I Want Most

This is an autobiography about how a family met their newest son.
Richard and his wife Susan already had five children, four who were grown and on their own and one who was still in high school. When Susan read about a new therapeutic foster care program starting in their area... one that was meant to take children who otherwise would be living in institutions, and place them in families with intense training and backup... she became intrigued. She wanted to give it a try. At the time, Richard was not up to the challenge, but he could see that his wife wanted this very much, and in their marriage whenever one of them really wanted something, the other one didn't have the heart to say "no."
The foster care agency presented them with a file for an 11-year-old boy who had been badly abused and neglected in early childhood, then shuffled around from foster home to children's home to hospital. This little boy had so many problems... behaviorally, emotionally, physically, etc... that even Susan didn't feel ready to say "yes" to taking him in.
But then they found a note in his file, a note that the boy had written. It was a list of the things he wanted most. Only three things were listed... "A family, a fishing pole, a family."
The Miniters decided to give Mike a chance.
One thing I love about this book is that it tells a very real story of what it is like for many foster parents who take on kids with special challenges. Mike was a very intense little boy. He was extremely argumentative, to the point where he'd argue about nonsense, obvious things, like the name of the family's dog. ("His name isn't Teddy, its Teddy Bear!")He could be destructive, and often broke his own things, other people's things, furniture, windows, etc. He could also be violent with his foster parents and other adults when he was upset. At many times the Miniters were miserable, wondered why they had taken in this child, and contemplated giving up foster parenting. When they went to their foster care agency for support, they were often told that they were doing things wrong, expecting too much or too little from the boy, not following agency rules, etc. The Miniters' journey reminded me of a lot of stories I've read in foster care blogs around the Internet!
Still, in the end, the Miniters adopted Mike.
Want to find out why? Get your hands on this book! (You can actually order it for $0.84 on!)

1 comment:

~ Melody ~ said...

Oh my, what a touching story. His list just breaks my glad he has the family.