I adopted him
from the foster care system
when he was 9.
How well I remember that first weekend.
Walking up the sidewalk to my home. Introducing him to the dog.
Taking him to buy shoes. Two pair. Tennis and dress shoes.
"These are beauts!" he declared prancing in front of the mirror.
Taking him to meet my family.
His amazement that he got a whole cheese pizza
(off the children's menu)
To eat for himself.
And now he is 27.
The last ten years have been beyond hard.
A blown out knee blowing up his football dreams.
Several hospitalizations for mental health issues.
Abandonment by his brother, former best friend,
who cannot accept the differences
in how his brain processes the world.
So much loneliness.
Most recently, four months picking up trash on the side of the highway.
Lots of people quit. My sweet guy persevered.
Tonight he has a job interview.
At a warehouse ten miles from our house.
He dresses up.
Puts on enough aftershave that they will be able to smell him
from one end of the warehouse to the other.
I shudder to think of him riding his bike and the light rail at 3 in the morning,
when the shift would end.
I worry about whether his femur,
broken eighteen months ago,
can withstand lifting boxes of paper.
And yet I pray, that somehow,
something might shine
the slightest sliver of hope
into the life of my big hearted guy.
The last ten years have been so hard.