This past Saturday, after Sean had played his AYSO soccer game (and won 5-1) we drove to the town where L is living to meet him for a "play date".
We met him at Olive Garden where he was dropped off by his foster parent. She did not wait around for us to talk to her but that's okay.
After eating our fill of Italian fare, we drove around and he showed us the high school he attends (WOW!) and some of the local sites. Then we went to a local park to throw and kick a ball around and give L a chance to run around with Zach and Sean and for us to see them all play together.
Things could not have gone better. Again.
It was, incredibly, the most natural thing. L took the lead and set up what they were going to do and both Zach and Sean ate it up. All three of them really enjoyed themselves. Mike got hit in the shoulder by a swiftly-kicked soccer ball and Kerri learned she doesn't want to try a catch a football with her chest.
No broken bones or blood on anyone at the end so a success by all measures!
The park has a lake with a jogging path so we walked around for awhile, talked, joked, laughed and had a really good time. All around the lake there are benches and randomly placed hop-scotch and similar concrete pads to play on.
Mike re-created the scene in "Elf" where Buddy hops across the road in New York on a crosswalk. A random stranger even gave him applause for his effort.
L couldn't believe he would do that and Kerri explained that's how we roll. "You'll get used to it!"
We left and went for shakes at Chik-fil-A (yum!), hung out in the AC and just talked some more.
We have to say, this was the most natural family outing you can imagine, It's like we have been a family for a long time. L got a little sappy and Mike got right there with him and we all had "a moment", one of many to come.
Thank you Lord. Thank you that you have ordained this moment. That you have made us a family. That you did that even before we knew it. We know you did because your fingerprints are everywhere.
It was time to take L back to the park to catch his ride. As usual, everyone got a little quiet.
When we got to the park he saw his foster parent. We told all three boys to stay in the van while we went and talked to her.
Aha! A captive audience.
It was a pleasant conversation and it was important to us to have that chance to talk to her and let her get to know us. Mike came away feeling much better that L was going to be able to stay put until the end of the school year.
L had mentioned that he was a rebellious child and that he had needed someone to stick with him through his bad choices. He said his current foster parent had provided him that and he was grateful. Kerri was able to tell her that.
This coming weekend he is coming to Montgomery to spend the weekend with us. Yeah!!!
We plan to tell him Sunday that we want him to come live with us, join our family and to be our son and a brother to Zach and Sean.
Please keep the prayers coming. This is a most incredible experience.