The last two weeks in June of 2009 time flew past faster than a bat in a swarm of mosquitoes! Those two weeks were my 15-day mid-tour leave from Iraq. One afternoon of that highspeed week, my wife Annalisa and I went to an adoption "meet and greet" event at the host resort. Prospective adoptive parents met children who were eligible for adoption and descriptions of kids not at the event.
We had pretty much decided to adopt when I returned from Iraq, but this meeting helped to put some reality in our plans. We heard about Jacari in the fall. Annalisa set up a class I could take just two days after I was released from Fort Dix after deployment. I was discharged on Thursday, January 23, 2010, and went to an all-day adoption seminar on Saturday, January 25.
We met Jacari at his foster mom's house three weeks later. He and Nigel got along great so we arranged for Jacari to spend weekends with us and the school week with his foster family until the school year ended. Since June of 2010 Jacari has lived with us full time.
In a luck coincidence, Jacari's foster family lives just six miles from Fort Indiantown Gap, where I go to Army weekends. On those once-a-month weekends, I drop Jacari off at his foster moms house and pickup him up on the way home Sunday evening.
We adopted Jacari in April. This Sunday, he will turn 13 and make us a family with teenagers again. Right now the boys are 11 and 12 and the girls are 20, 21, and 22. No teenagers for three more days.