"Ms. Margaret, I... I...i'm sorry. Some...some words. They hard to get. I tried real hard but I failed the test...again."
The self-disappointment in his voice fell heavy on my heart.
I immediately drew up the adoption papers. I welcomed him into Mama MAZ's Home For Individuals that Live Life Hard.
I lost count years ago, but I have adopted many.
1. The boy that slept in my class every day because he wandered the streets at night. His "loving" mother worked out of their home, as a prostitute. He was not allowed in the house during work hours.
I stayed after school to make sure he, at the least, learned to read.
2. The girl in my class, at the mental health center, that was in isolation, at the age of four, because she was sexually aggressive. It took me two days to read her files. Her short 4 year history was so horrific, painful tears obstructed my vision and I could not physically read the accounts of her life.
3. The boy that was being neglected by his parents. They were so busy "keeping up appearances" and social status, they did not notice the pain that was swallowing their son.
4. The young man that had been in and out of juvenile detention so many times, it was the joke of the high school. His eyes were a window straight to an empty, dead soul. Nobody noticed because the badly burned scar tissue wrapping his face was a distraction. His father gave him that gift on his 10th Christmas, in a drunk rage.
5. The 6 year old boy that was trapped in his body and his very young mom, a user. His premature birth left him in a body active with seizures, eyes with no vision, and brain stuck at 9 months development. I would sit next to his mother in thousands of meetings over two years. I would hold her hand and encourage her to stay sober, discuss parenting responsibilities, and the desperate need for her to change her habits. I would hold her hand one last time at his funeral. He was free at last, leaving her here on earth, to live life hard and enter adulthood.
Of course, all these adoptions were in my head. They all have parents and families, and legally don't need to be adopted.
But if I could, I would gain 200 pounds, throw on a moo moo dress, and sit on the front porch, welcoming all those who need love and teaching at Mama MAZs house.