I have edited key details and names in this story to protect the privacy of everyone involved.
What place does a 15 year old girl have in a Dallas bar that attracts more than its share of unsavory characters? But that is where 15 year old Morgan found herself on most weeknights. In fact, she had to find a place to lay her head, and get some rest. Her mother’s shift as a bartender did not end until 2:00 a.m. Morgan in turn would have to get up and be at basketball practice bright and early before the beginning of the normal school day. Exhaustion and fluid boundaries were a way of life until a fellow team players family entered the picture.
Luke and Ruth had a 15 year old daughter playing on the same basketball team. When they discovered Morgan’s living circumstance, they asked her mother if she could move in with them. She readily agreed. Stretching out to nap in a bar each night was over for Morgan. She was given a warm bed to sleep in and three square meals to share with a great people. She joined her adoptive family for vacations and extended family gatherings. There was no shortage of love and security for a young lady that had never known either.
Her sophomore year in high school came and went. After about a year, her mother picked her up. Her time with Luke and Ruth’s family came to a screeching halt. A couple of years passed. Luke saw Morgan from a distance at an event, but she avoided him… They heard through the grapevine that Morgan had a baby. The baby drowned in a swimming pool before his second birthday.
Morgan was a sophomore in high school 12 years ago. Luke and Ruth have not heard a peep out of her all of this time. At least that was the case until yesterday…Morgan contacted Luke and told him that was she was engaged. She needed his advice regarding some important personal concerns. During the course of the conversation she apologized for being out of touch for such a long period of time. Luke responded with this statement: “Morgan: when you lived with us, I told you everyday that you would always be my daughter.” She broke down in tears… And she told him: “I have never forgotten that!”
What kind of message are we giving our own children? Are we casting them off to sleep in a corner somewhere? Are we telling them that they will always be our children? What about our children’s friends that lack a stable family environment? What kind of message are they getting from us?? There is no shortage of opportunity to adopt older children that just need some attention, love, and structure in their lives. Such adoptive practices can take on multiple forms. I can promise you that the love they are given in such adoptive situations will never ever be forgotten.