|Jean is old order Mennonite from New York State.Jean and her husband David and family live on a dairy farm, and travel their community using horse and buggy. She tells her story exclusively on Amish Stories.|
With Michael's mother we were allowed in the same room. She had an evil look, but was not as bad as Michael's father. She did not like that he was living with us as she thinks we are taking him backward and not forward, and that he won't amount to anything in life. She also spoke Michael down but not as bad as her husband did. When we started to leave she called to me and asked me to take good care of her son. She said they did wrong with him and hoped that somewhere we could change his life for the better-that he wouldn't spend his life living in the evil they did. History shows if parents are criminals many of their children are too-she doesn't ever want to hear of Michael being in prison.
Before we left David had tried to talk Michael into coming with us, but he refused. When we go home David told Michael that he was wrong-he should never have to go to a prison and see those people that claim to be his parents. They may have given birth to them, but they are not parents. That's what Michael tried to tell us. We will pray for his parents that they will find the Lord and change their ways.
Social Services contacted us and Michael is up for adoption. His parents have no say who gets to adopt him. They can not take Michael away from the parents because they will be in prison until after Michael is 21. We have first chance to adopt him. That evening we and Michael had a long talk about whether he wanted us to adopt him. He was told if we adopted him that it did mean he could get out of school at the end of this year. We wanted him to live our life style, and we hope that he would change to Old Order Mennonite. Even if he did not have to return to school he would have to work on our farm doing our ways. We understood that we are asking him to leave the worldly way and come to our way. He would be with us through the good times and the bad times. We would work together, recreation together, he could be with his worldly friends, but we wanted to know where he was going and what he was doing. He prayed for a week before he came to us and asked us to start the adoption. As we do not have any experience in lawyers, we are using the one Martha and Joseph used when they adopted their last children. It will be a year before the adoption goes through as Social Services wants to make sure we are happy and that Michael is happy. We can not take him out of the public school until the adoption goes through which Michael said "Oh Darn" about. As yet, we agreed not to tell Susan until we make sure we are all is going to work out. So we are not having Michael as a foster child, but as our child. He doesn't like us calling him a child.
At our school when a child's birthday comes we bake a cake or cup cakes for the students that day. We are celebrating Michael's birthday so I thought I would bake a cake for his home room. I was told that I can not have a homemade cake as in this day in age you never know what a parent could put in a cake. After seeing Michael's parents, we could understand, but I explained that I am credited by the state and bake for bake sales where I sell my food. Still they turned me down. Michael told the principal that he better look out. Principal asking Michael if he was threatening him. Michael said no, but the principal didn't know his Mom (me) and I wasn't going to take this lying down. I drove the buggy home and got the inspection certificates from the state, my licenses, and awards-put them in the buggy and went back to the school. I laid them all on the principals desk. He copied some of his items on his machine and said you won't take no will you? I said nope. I don't like to show off the awards I got from bake sales, donation baking's, etc-I feel that is pride-but i just wanted to help prove my point with the school . Finally I got a call from the principal-all he said was you won, bring in the cake. So on October 21st I am bringing a homemade cake into Michael's homeroom about a half hour before they go home so the children can enjoy it. When Michael's friends came over and he told them what I did they all applauded me. Michael said you don't tell my Mom no even if you are the public school system.
Other news is we have sold the property we were going to build our house on. The Amish couple who bought our other property back there's parents bought this one. David, Michael, Susan and myself had talked and decided we wanted to live closer to Martha and Joseph. We are going to buy a piece of their property. They said we could build in back of them, either side of them or across the street. We would buy property for our house, farm land, barns and green houses. David's parents are trying to buy property in that area, also. My parents are a little upset as we would be moving away from them. David's parents are trying to talk our parents into buying over there and selling their place. We have a relative who would like to buy our farm so that would be no problem. Martha, Joseph, David and I are close friends. Joseph, David and I went to school together and Martha became my friend when she met Joseph and planned on joining Old Order Mennonite-which she did. All our children would be closer together too. Michael would be closer to his public school. David would be closer to the fire department he volunteers to. Martha and I would be closer for our projects and the children would be closer for their activities. We would stop wearing out our buggies driving back and forth all the time-although we would go to see my parents. Sometime this week we plan on going over and picking our farm and house space. We wouldn't build now until probably spring.
Be with God, Jean
along with some images of my early snow fall here in Lebanon Pennsylvania!