When we agreed to take in Rhys with us, we were only concerned with providing him with a stable environment and for him to continue his education. We knew that we won't be able to treat him like one of our own kids, because he isn't that and he has his own mother and we're not trying to replace her, but we, Patrick and I, agreed that we'd be as fair and equal as we can.
The first week that he was here, you can see that he's still adjusting to being in a new environment. He'd be polite and quiet. We're grateful to Jericho for teaching him how to be independent, for teaching him how to brush his teeth on his own, how to take a bath on his own and he even puts his own dishes in the sink. How's that for independence?
It was also the perfect time to be here because he had a week to get adjusted before he started at his new school. We all got a move on to bring him here with us primarily because school was starting and at that point, he wasn't enrolled in any school. Dimples apparently didn't prepare enough money for his tuition. So, Patrick and I forked out the initial deposit, Stevie and Toni contributed for his uniforms, shoes and other school supplies. Dimples couldn't give at this time because she started a new job, or rather went back to her old job but was starting over yet again.
It was like starting new with Rhys. We had to buy most of his stuff, not just for school but for the home. He basically had no clothes (his old ones were really old). He had no shoes but two pairs that were again, old. He had no toys with him except for Dipstick the stuffed toy dog, which was old too. When asked about his other toys, he had some but were broken and old. So it basically fell upon us to provide what we can. So, when we were buying all these new stuff for him, he couldn't believe it. It was eerily pathetic that a kid will be so surprised that someone was buying all these things for him. Does it mean that he rarely gets anything new or he rarely goes shopping for himself?
We had plenty of time with him even though school started because there were a lot of storms that caused the cancellation of some classes. He was excited to start school and he had no apprehensions because he knew that Dylan went to the same. However, as he became accustomed to his environment, he started being talkative in school and even managed a temper tantrum where he threw his books at Teacher Dory. This necessitated him being isolated from his classmates for the duration of the classes and for the week that followed.
He was also showing signs of being resistant with the rules in the house. We understood that he wasn't used to rules if he's left alone by himself most of the time when he was with his mom and Jericho. It just became irritating that whenever we'd tell him to be quiet or to calm himself down, he'd just laugh in your face. Whenever there was food on the table or when someone was going to eat something, he'll be there waiting. Was this boy starved at some point in his life? That's the kind of behavior you often see when you feed street children. They will stuff so much food in their mouths to the point of nausea because they believe that they'll never have that chance again. He also didn't want to share his only toys (again, understandably because they mean so much to him). But, when told that he needed to share because Dana and Dylan were sharing their toys with him, he found a way to share but only when it was convenient for him. Hmm..
I also found out that he had a mean streak. He purposefully broke one of the chairs from Dana's doll house. He looked at it, stepped on it and crushed it. Then, he calmly picked it up and threw it in the trash. He thought nobody was looking. But he was wrong. I saw it and when I asked him about it. He said, it was nothing. Lying to my face too. Another hmmm....
There were still a number of incidents that I will refrain from mentioning because this will just become too tedious and too epic. Yes, he's polite. Yes, he speaks English. But over-all, he wasn't a good influence on our kids. Dana and Dylan never lied. They don't even know how. Now they do. They used to be able to play quietly and yes, they can be boisterous too but when you tell them to be quiet, they will. Now, you need to really raise your voice for them to listen to you.
Do I regret our decision to take him in, NO. We had to try. We owe it to Dad. But we will always put our kids first and foremost. If our family was getting too broken up and too affected by all the stress in the house, then we have to stop. But for now, we will persevere.
More to come.
June 6th - July 1st