Thursday, September 16, 2010

A season ending

Anyone who knows me, knows that I spend a lot of time at sporting events. When I was younger I enjoyed participating and playing sports but I attend now to support & cheer for nephews and nieces.

Another season of school-fall baseball is nearing an end. The last home game was earlier this week, one of the fathers gathered all the 8th graders after the game for a group picture. This group of 7 boys have been playing sports together since they were old enough to play organized sports......flag football, summer baseball, basketball, school/fall baseball, name it, if it's considered a 'sport' they'll play. While I'm looking forward to watching them play football, I can't believe they'll be in high school next year! Front Row - Luke, Kaleb, Nick
Back Row - Johnathon, Jacob, Zach, Steven
They won some and lost some this year, but supported each other no matter the outcome of the game - they really are a great bunch of kids. I think the fact that they all attend church has something to do with it, but that's just my opinion.

We only have two more regular season games (one tonight, one Monday) and then the regional playoff's. Good Luck on the rest of the season Boys!! Of course I'll see you in a few weeks on the basketball court......oh, basketball starts Saturday, Oct 23rd. I wish there was a way to attend basketball without having to sit on bleachers, those things kill me by the end of the season - I know I'm getting old.

If you like to see some of the pictures of Johnathon click the link below:


There are galleries of the other players also or you can click on an individual game and watch the progess of pictures from that game on a slide show (shorten version of the game!). I only have about 1 1/2 games posted so far but hope to have more done this weekend - we'll see how it goes. Check back often, as soon as I get the baseball ones done I'll start in on basketball......a BIG THANKS to the coach for allowing me to sit on the field during the home games!! It's great not having to shoot through the fence.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Special Fans!


As some you may know and many more of you don' nephew Johnathon has 6 siblings. He has one sister who is my brothers (Brittany) who of course we love dearly and see all the time. He also has 5 more siblings by his mother.

A little history - Johnathon has lived with my parents pretty much since he was born and after a small battle, obtained legal-temporary custody of him when he was around 5 years old.

In the mean time, his mother had many more children. While Johnathon was living in a safe, stable environment with my parents his siblings weren't as lucky and eventually DCFS stepped in and placed his sisters and brother in foster care. They were all adopted by their foster parents when his mother permanently lost custody. Johnathon was of course adopted by my parents.

Johnathon's situation with his mother was a little different than his younger siblings 1.) he was 'aware' of what was going on - even though he may not of completely understood everything 2)he wasn't removed by DCFS since he didn't live with her. He does continue to see her a couple times a year, usually for dinner with my parents present. His siblings though had a total break in contact and due to the nature of the situation, that also meant that Johnathon no longer got to see his siblings (we quickly found out that according to IL law, Johnathon had no visitation rights). He's never met his brother, he was taken when he was only a few hours old - we have yet to meet him but hope to some day.

All that history being said, the mother of the three oldest girls contacted us and decided to bring the girls to Johnathon's baseball game last night! We didn't tell Johnathon they were coming, he hasn't seen them in 3 1/2 years. The game was already under way when they got there......the only downfall to the night was the rain coming down which kept me from getting my camera out.

It was a very emotional reunion. Most of the parents in the stands and the coach had be informed of what was going to happen and I think most had tears running down their checks. The girls mother was a little apprehensive that the two younger ones wouldn't remember him, but the way they lit up when they saw him and clung to him the rest of the evening ended those doubts quickly.

After the game, Johnathon had the girls stand at the top of the bleachers and introduced them to the team - he was so excited for everyone to meet them. For the first time in a very long time, the Junior-High Baseball team BEAT was believed by the team that his sisters brought them good luck and were made honorary mascots and asked to attend all the rest of the games!

They agreed to have dinner with us uptown, giving the separated siblings time to visit. We hope they'll get to see each other more frequently now and someday we'll get to meet his youngest sister and brother.
It wasn't raining in the Opera House so I got to take pictures..........introductions are now in order.

This is Shelby, she's got the thickest brown hair - cut in the cutest style. She giggled most of the night at anything Johnathon would say........

.......and this is Delany. She was the one most attached to Johnathon before their separation and was the one most attached to Johnathon last night - literally attached as in wouldn't let go of him. She's always had the sweetest personality, a trait that's only gotten stronger. She's such a pretty little girl, inside and out.......
........and Brooke, who has the biggest, prettiest brown eyes. Brooke is more quiet and reserved than her younger sisters. She's grown into a beautiful young girl. Brooke has the same thickness and natural curl/wave in her hair that Johnathon has.

We/I tried taking a picture of all four of them. They were all giddy though and had a hard time sitting still and Brooke kept closing her eyes every time the shutter would close.....oh well, still a cute picture.

Delany wouldn't let Johnathon get but maybe 12 inches from her.

Shelby liked "posing" for the camera.

Brooke was sitting next to me so I wasn't able to get as many pictures of her. She wasn't quite as camera happy as the other two either.
Delany took this picture of Johnathon (I let the girls take a few of the pictures)

They were having fun "playing" with Johnathon's hair - aggravating him was more like it! Johnathon is attempting to let his hair grown out, he wants a shaggy cut and to be able to flip his hair (basketball's coming up though so I'm thinking the growing out won't last much longer). Course I told him that when his hair is long enough for them to part it and play with it, it's time to get it cut!

This one loved the spaghetti at the Opera House.

I think the girls would have let me sit and take pictures of them for hours and Johnathon would have sat and visited with them as long as they'd have stayed there. Toward the end of the evening, Shelby announced "okay, I'm ready to go home with Johnathon now" and just looked at him and grinned.

We're very grateful to their mother for realizing that Johnathon was also a victim of the situation and agreed to allow their reunion. Johnathon was sooooo wound up when he got home last night, it took a long time for him to fall asleep last night.

Even though we had to sit under umbrella's and got a little wet watching as baseball game......SV beat Carterville and more importantly, a long awaited reunion took place.

It was one GREAT night!