OK, I think I should clarify a bit about what's going on with Joey, because when I read the post below, I thought it did sound strange that I used the term "adopt" to describe a kid who is going though a tough time and is certainly not my son. So I'm going to give you guys more details.
Joey isn't just going through a tough time. He was orphaned just a few weeks ago when both his parents died in a tragic situation. His grandparents have temporary custody of him and his two younger siblings (a toddler and a baby), but the family can't decide on what's best for the kids (who should get them, should they be kept together, etc.) There were no clear provisions in his parents' will, so there's a lot of legal confusion thrown into the mix. Several families (some blood-related, some dear friends) want the kids. Some want just one or two of them. Some infighting seems inevitable. It's all just yucky to think about.
In the midst of all this, of course, Joey is acting up in class, not completing his homework, and barely getting the attention he needs. That's why God has called me and my husband to (with full permission of his grandparents) "adopt" him for now in our hearts, even knowing that he will likely be placed with someone we don't even know and will move away from us forever.
He's not living with us, of course. He does have a stable, if relatively stress-filled home to go home to. But we're spending time with him, giving him lots of love, and supporting him through it all. I asked my son this morning as I was driving him to school if he was feeling "OK" with us giving Joey lots of attention right now. My son is happy with it, enjoys the playdates, and really loves his friend.
As I dropped my boy off, I also looked for Joey in the crowd. I had been thinking about him all morning, and I walked up to him.
"Hi Joey," I said. He smiled at me. "Would you like a hug this morning?" He said, "I would!"
I held him close for a few minutes, which is probably more time than his poor overworked and deeply mourning grandparents have right now. I told him I loved him and that I was looking forward to him coming over to my home again on Tuesday. He told me all about some funny, interesting lego-involved adventure he had had. I only caught half of it, of course, but it was just good to see him smile.
I feel so fulfilled right now with our family reaching out to this great kid. I feel like my arms, my heart, my quiver—for now—is full.