39 days and counting down …
Terry Kennedy came to live with us when I was in 3rd or 4th grade. He was 8 years old and his family situation was a sad one. When our church found out how this family was living – five children (ages 4-13 and one with special needs) in an apartment with their single mom without the basics needed to function – some families stepped in to help her. She asked if her children could be taken care of while she tried to get her life together, so our family and the others took the children in. Since all of us went to the same church, the children stayed connected through those months by seeing each other during the week at church and activities. I don’t have many memories of the day to day, which makes me think Terry probably just blended right in with the Dawson five very well. He was quiet at first, but my memory of him was that he was adaptable though also sad. My sister and I treated him like a brother pretty quickly, and from what I do remember, that was both good and not so good for him. I think as sisters, Carol and I were usually on the same side in a family feud. David wasn’t really old enough to help him out as a brother, but if I have accurate recall, our teaming up didn’t deter him from thinking he was always right! 🙂 I also know we talked to him about Jesus and that he had questions and engaged in spiritual conversations. My mom could share more light on this time of my life, but I am attempting to keep the story about my own memories as best I can.
One day, Terry’s mom gave us the word she was better and so the families packed up carloads of clothes and toys and sent those kids on their way with Mom. There was no DSS or CPS involved. Just God’s people serving a broken family. I don’t think anyone was convinced it was best to send them back at the time, but it did seem to be what was next.
It is so interesting to unfold my story from the beginning. To recall the way God’s grace has carried me along and guided me. How He placed people and events in my life at “the right time.” Who knows how He was showing me even then that there are children in crisis who need us to love them … if only for a short while. Another shade of grace!
And no, I don’t know what happened to our brother Terry.