A mother of five children rescues three homeless siblings and takes them to Child Services. But she can’t forget them and comes up with a plan to bring them into her life.
Lacy loved being a mom so much she’d done it five times! She and her husband Brian were the proud parents of three boys and two girls, and she sometimes wished they’d had more, especially now that the three older children were in college and the two youngest were in high school.
“We’ll be alone again soon,” Lacy told Brian sadly. “I’m going to miss having children around.”
Brian nodded absently, even though he wasn’t really listening. “Yes, dear,” he said. Lacy smiled. She loved Brian, and she loved that he always understood how she felt!
Three days later, Lacy’s life and her marriage were turned upside down. She was walking her dog on the beach when she heard a baby crying near an old abandoned lifeguard hut. The dog started barking and ran towards the hut. Lacy followed it and saw it wagging its tail happily.
In front of the dog were three children. The oldest looked to be five years old, the second oldest maybe four, and the third was a baby still in a carriage. The two oldest children looked frightened, and the baby just looked upset and very hungry.
A family is founded on love, and the willingness to give of ourselves.
“Hello,” Lacy said gently. “Who are you?”
The oldest boy said, “I’m Drew, that’s my brother Kim, and that’d baby Will — he’s two.”
“I’m Lacy,” she said. “And where is your mom?”
Drew looked away. “Mom went to get hamburgers,” he said bravely. “But maybe she got lost, ’cause it’s been a long time.”
“How long?” asked Lacy.
“Yesterday,” Drew whispered. “But I KNOW she’s coming back.”
“I tell you what,” Lacy said. “Why don’t I take you to have a burger, and then we can find your mom?”
“But…” Drew frowned. “If she comes back she won’t know where we are!”
“We’ll leave her a note, OK?” Lacy said. She wrote a note and pinned it to the door of the broken-down lifeguard hut. “I’ve written down my cell phone number too, so she can call us!”
Lacy took the kids to a beachfront burger restaurant, and while the kids ate, she called the police and Child Services. Then she returned to the table and ordered milkshakes.
The kids were smiling and relaxed. That was when little Will reached over and patted Lacy’s cheek. “Are you our mommy now?” he asked.
“No, no…” Lacy stammered. “We’re going to find your mommy, you’ll see.”
But Social Services weren’t as hopeful. They knew that if someone wanted to disappear, they could. “She’s got three mouths to feed,” the social worker explained to Lacy. “And she’s just nineteen. She’s been a mom since she was fourteen, and she’s desperate for freedom. If she ever comes back, it will be when she’s in her late thirties, and the kids don’t need her anymore.”
“That’s very sad,” Lacy said. “But these kids are so cute and so young, I’m sure plenty of families will take them.”
“No,” the social worker said. “We have a policy not to separate siblings. We can usually place two — three is a stretch. These little boys are going to be in the foster system for a long time.”
Lacy went home and told Brian and her high school-age kids what happened. “Can you believe it? Those poor babies…”
“Lacy,” Brian protested. “You end up mothering everyone!”
Lacy laughed, but she remembered little Will’s question: “Are you our mommy now?” She took a deep breath. “Brian? Why don’t we take the three kids?”
“What?” gasped Brian.
“WHAT!” screamed the kids. “Are you KIDDING?”
“Why not?” asked Lacy. “Come on, Brian! We’re doing so well! You said the other day you’d like more kids…”
“NO!” Brian said crossly. “I told you what you wanted to hear! We don’t know these children, and we don’t owe them anything.”
“What about basic compassion, Brian?” Lacy asked softly. “What about love?”
“We don’t owe them love either!” Brian shouted. “These are NOT my kids, and I won’t spend a cent raising them! You want them? YOU find the money, ’cause you won’t get a cent from me!”
Lacy looked at her husband. “You know, Brian,” she said quietly. “It’s not about the money. I’ll find the money. I’m sad you’ve become such a miser with your love. How can you grudge them your compassion? You’ve become hard-hearted. I wonder — do you still love me?”
Lacy turned to her children: “This is not how I raised you, to be cold and selfish with those less fortunate. I must have been a bad mother to have you turn out like this.”
Brian and the children looked at each other, and then away. They were ashamed but much too proud to apologize to Lacy. Brian felt even worse when he learned from the family lawyer what Lacy was doing.
She had placed the house on the beach she’d inherited from her parents up for sale, and even the silver and the jewelry her grandmother had left her. Lacy was planning on selling things she held dear to help the three kids!
That night, Brian and the kids came to Lacy and apologized. “Please honey,” Brian said. “Don’t sell anything. We have more than enough money!”
“But do you have enough love?” Lacy asked, looking Brian and the two younger children in the eye. “I won’t bring those kids into a house where they won’t be loved.”
Brian and the two younger kids — 14 and 17 — promised they’d be caring and supportive, and even the older kids called from college to tell Lacy she had all their support.
As for Drew, Kim, and Will, they were delighted to be part of a big family, with lots of big brothers and sisters to spoil them. Soon, no one could even imagine what life would be like without the three little children who’d made their family complete
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