A blessing through tragedy...

What a day my family has had…

Last night my husband got a phone call from his great-aunt saying that his cousin had been killed in a car accident. I had met this man briefly 4.5 years ago at our wedding. My husband had been very close to him when they were growing up, but they had seen each other seldom since my husband moved away. My husband said that they were like brothers growing up, so this loss has been very very hard on him. His cousin had been a single dad to a 4 year old boy for the last 2.5 years. His wife had also passed away. Earlier today we got a call saying that we were listed as one of the guardians for his son - [name]Henry[/name]. There are two other couples also listed as guardians. My husband and I talked about it, and I know that he really wants to father this child. It was just a feeling that we both had, even though I never met him - my husband did when he was an infant. So my husband is actually driving there now (didn’t think he could get there faster by plane) to meet [name]Henry[/name], comfort his family and help with the arrangements. I am 8 months pregnant, and we really think (so does the doctor) that it is best that I stay here. I am just a mix of emotions! With the twins coming next month, [name]Dorothy[/name], and possibly a son?!?

I know this is a name site, but I have come to seen that you girls have had good advice. Has anyone had anything like this experience?

We won’t know probably until [name]Monday[/name], who will have custody of [name]Henry[/name], my husband wants to talk to both sides of his family, first… But it looks like [name]Dorothy[/name] may be a little sister! [name]Henry[/name] and [name]Dorothy[/name] sound like they could be brother and sister, right? What about an [name]Eloise[/name] and [name]Matilda[/name] with a [name]Henry[/name] and [name]Dorothy[/name]? I don’t know [name]Henry[/name]'s mn yet.

I think we are all still in shock.

What a good man your husband is, what a lovely supportive wife you are and I am sure your DH will support you through this twist of fate that may mean you are parenting little [name]Henry[/name].

Relax and rest as much as possible because you will be suffering from shock. I hope that you have a solid, loving family member who can help you all, who can support you through this sad and emotional time.

My prayers will be with you, your husband and family.

Thank you [name]Rollo[/name]. My sister is one of the sweetest people in the world and is coming tomorrow morning to stay with me until my husband gets back.

I tried sleeping earlier, but there really is no point, there is no way I am going to be able to sleep. I have been trying to do as much research as I can tonight to see if there are any similar cases out there to get some advice. I am really concerned about [name]Henry[/name], whether or not he ends up living with us - I think my husband and I just want whats best for him and to make sure that he will be ok. and [name]Dottie[/name]. I mean, she has just gotten used to the idea of having two little baby sisters… we havent said anything to her of course yet, nor will we know how to… nor will she understand?

dotsmom it is natural that a million things are racing through your mind right now.

Your concern for little [name]Henry[/name] is natural but you and your husband have given him the best gift possible - your love and support whether he becomes a brother to [name]Dorothy[/name] and the twins or whether another loving family will love him and care for him I am sure that you will all be there for him.

I think that because your little girl has such loving and caring parents any hiccups along the way if [name]Henry[/name] becomes a brother will be sorted out fairly and lovingly. My mother used to say live in day time compartments, and that is good advice because otherwise the big picture can be overwhelming.

If you can’t sleep then get a nice cup of warm milk and sit on the lounge or the bed and rest for a while.

God Bless you, and it is wonderful to hear that your loving sister will be with you soon. Sending lots of hugs too.

This is such a tragedy – I really feel for your husband’s whole family – and especially little [name]Henry[/name].

You and your husband seem like such generous, loving and selfless people. There will no doubt a lot of difficulties for you at this time and my thoughts are with you.

This happened to my mum’s old school friend, [name]Andrea[/name]. [name]Andrea[/name]'s best friend suddenly died a few years ago leaving behind a 15 year old son and [name]Andrea[/name] was listed as guardian. [name]Andrea[/name] was prepared to have the boy live with her family (she had 17 & 15 year old girls at the time) but as the boy lived so far away, it was decided that he should live with his grandparents so that he could stay in the same school (He very much wanted to be close to his friends, I should add).

This is obviously somewhat different, as that boy was only a few years away from legal adulthood, but I am sure that eventually the right solution for everyone (particularly [name]Henry[/name]) will present itself. Whether that is becoming a part of your loving family, or living with someone else.

Best wishes xx

First, I want to say how sorry I am about the death of your husband’s cousin. I know that this must be a really difficult time for his family. I think you are your husband are doing the right thing by even offering to stand up for this child.

Something similar to this happened to my step-aunt. She ended up adopting her ‘daughter’/‘niece’ after her brother and sister-in-law died. [name]Hailey[/name] was 3 when it happened and my step-aunt had two other children who were in high school. [name]Hailey[/name] knows that she was adopted by her aunt, but still refers to her as her mother. I think that there was some transitioning problems in the beginning, but [name]Hailey[/name] is now 13 and seems really well adjusted. [name]Both[/name] of her cousins/brother/sister absolutely adore her.

I have no doubt that there will be a happy ending in this for everyone. :slight_smile:

And yes, [name]Henry[/name], [name]Dorothy[/name], [name]Eloise[/name] and [name]Matilda[/name] do sound like good names together. :slight_smile: Good luck and please update on what ends up happening. I wish you the best.

[name]Just[/name] to add my sympathies and best wishes. What a tragedy, I really feel for you and especially for your husband, having lost a few close friends that way myself. I am sure that as he comes to terms with this it will mean the world to him having your support and [name]Dottie[/name] and the new girls to make him smile.

I’ve never been in the same situation as you find yourselves, nor do I know anyone who has, so I can’t be useful in giving advice, but as others have said, you do seem like a wonderfully loving family for little [name]Henry[/name] to possibly join. If that is what is decided I am sure you’ll embrace him as you would a son, and that warmth and support will see you through some inevitable bumps in the road. Poor little guy. It will mean so much to him to know he is wanted.

Good luck with everything, and try to rest! You need all your energy now.

I just wanted to express my sincere sympathy during this time. It has to be so difficult on everyone involved. I hope the family is able to be reasonable in the decision making for sweet [name]Henry[/name]. Poor little guy must be devastated.

I don’t have anyone close to me who has experienced this pain. However, I am a Therapeutic [name]Foster[/name] Parent and my foster children have dealt with tremendous pain in their lives. [name]Henry[/name] may “act out” in the beginning, have adjustment issues, and feel at a complete loss. Although he is quite young and may adapt pretty naturally with folks who love him deeply.

I pray that your husband arrives safely and the twins stay tucked inside during this sad time. Continue to try and rest. Hugs and prayers to all.

[name]Just[/name] wanted you to know that I sympathize with your situation and will be praying for you and your family at this difficult time. Please take care of yourself and those twins as well as little [name]Dottie[/name]. I pray for traveling mercies for your husband and comfort for his loss. I especially pray for this little boy [name]Henry[/name] who needs a loving home at this sad time in his life. [name]May[/name] the adults in his life decide on the best situation for his care and may they have infinite patience with his pain and grief. [name]May[/name] blessing come from tragedy is my prayer.

I am so sorry for your loss. My condolences to you and your family. I am a foster/adoptive mom and while the situation isn’t exactly the same, it is similar. My advice would just be to show him as much love as possible, while still setting appropriate boundaries for a child his age. He will probably test you to see what he can get away with so its important to be loving yet firm and consistent. His world has been turned upside down and one way to help him feel more secure is to establish routines as much as possible. You and your husband seem like kind and loving parents and I’m sure you’ll do a wonderful job of raising him.

On a name note, I think his name goes wonderfully with your children and continues the literary theme - [name]Henry[/name] Huggins by [name]Beverly[/name] [name]Cleary[/name].

Blessings to you and your family. We will keep you in our prayers.

I truly feel for your loss, and I hope that you and your husband and the rest of [name]Henry[/name]'s family will figure out how best to support young [name]Henry[/name] through this terrible time.

Should [name]Henry[/name] end up joining your family, I think the birth of your twins might make this transition easier in some ways (for him, at least). Since the family will already be adjusting to two more new children, [name]Henry[/name] can join the family in the midst of this transition and become another part of it. In a way, the twins’ births could help bring [name]Henry[/name] into the family as well. He can share in that birthing process in some sort of metaphorical way. In fact, the family might want to think about ways to symbolically do just that …

What are some of the things you are doing to prepare for the twins? You might be preparing a new room for them, etc. Now you could think of doing all those things for [name]Henry[/name], too, adjusting for his age and circumstances, of course. But you could make all of these activities part of some sort of symbolic whole.

[name]How[/name] will you symbolically/religiously/spiritually mark the twins’ births? If you have a ceremony for the twins, could [name]Henry[/name] (and [name]Dorothy[/name]) become a part of that ceremony too? These are just some ideas that come to me … You might want to think of the twins’ births in the broader sense of change and growth to the family. [name]Henry[/name], [name]Dot[/name], you can all join in that, and be symbolically/metaphorically marked by that change, as well. The family’s change becomes the center of attention, instead of concentrating on the births, as wonderful and exciting as they are.

Of course, both [name]Henry[/name] and [name]Dorothy[/name] will need lots of support if this happens, and I would encourage you to get as much help as you can get, including from child health/social support professionals.

[name]Even[/name] if you can’t sleep, be sure to get what rest you can… You’ll need it!

My sympathy to your entire family. What a horrible loss for such a young boy. I hope your family finds the right place for little [name]Henry[/name]. Im sure as you are a loving mother you would provide a wonderful home for him. I can imagine it must be scary for you having your hubby leave while you are so close to your due date with twins, no less. Stay strong. I will be praying for you and your family.

I just wanted to add my condolences to that of the other posters.
So sad to hear of [name]Henry[/name]'s loss and the loss to your family.
Take care of yourself.
I trust and pray that all will work out for the best, for [name]Henry[/name] and for your family from this sad situation.
The Nameberry community is thinking of you and will all be hoping to hear how you are doing.

Your husband sounds like a very fine man to rush to [name]Henry[/name]'s side at this sad time! I think you are amazing, too, because I know that you are a wonderful mother and write so many thoughtful posts. It is so tragic that [name]Henry[/name] lost his father, but it is good to know that there are fine people like you who are ready to provide a loving home for [name]Henry[/name]. It’s great that if [name]Henry[/name] lives with you, he will have a family with three little sisters. I think this really tragic situation could be greatly remedied in the long run by a lot of love and great patience. Bless you for being willing to be a mother to little [name]Henry[/name]!

Thank you everyone for all your prayers, love and support for my family and I. I talked to my doctor about our situation and I have been more or less put on bedrest. He is worried that the added stress will make to go into labor early and be risky for the twins. Which actually, makes me feel extremely guilty since there is so much to do, however I do understand that “rest” for me will probably be the best for everyone. I would like to update you on what transpired today.

My husband met [name]Henry[/name] this morning. He has been staying with his paternal grandparents. [name]Henry[/name] has been very quiet and is still really unsure about what is happening. I think its safe to say that my husband is in love with him. [name]Henry[/name] really hasnt been speaking to anyone, but my husband was finally able to get him to talk about hockey. We still aren’t really sure what we should be doing in this situation, especially since we arent 100% sure if we will be his guardians, but my husband “B” thinks that he should try to bond with him and try to be a father figure to him… Which we know he is doing as a risk, since we don’t want him to feel like he has lost again, if he does go to another family. “B” scrambled this afternoon and bought some tickets to a hockey game. Again, we are not sure if this is what we should be doing or not, but it seemed like maybe distracting him from all the pain he is facing might be best?? Its so hard to know what the right thing to do is.

I mentioned before that there were two other couples who were listed as guardians. One couple has 3 children - two in high school and one in college. They are also willing to care for [name]Henry[/name], but are hesitant because of the age-gap. The other couple have two children in grade school, but are facing financial difficulties (including the possibility of losing their house) due to two layoffs. However, they have said that they would take him in as well if they needed to and just figure out a way.

He has talked to his family about us adopting him. Everyone agrees that it makes the most sense, especially due to how close B and his father were, but are also hesitant because we live so far away. In fact in a different country. [name]Henry[/name]'s paternal grandparents also want to raise him, as well as his maternal grandmother. They technically, have more rights than we do to do this. I think that their reasons are more emotional than logical. Which I can understand too.

My sister arrived this morning to stay with me while B is away. I am very thankful that we finished getting the twins’ room ready for them. Now, its whether or not we should start getting a room ready for [name]Henry[/name]. B mentioned today that he is going to have to stay up there with [name]Henry[/name] to pack and move things… sell the house… etc. Thank goodness,everyone is really stepping up. Also, we are going to have 2 more dogs and 1 cat! lol. That will bring our total up to 4 dogs and 1 cat. + 1 son + 3 daughters. in a 3 bedroom house!

Eh. I better stop talking now… I am just overwhelming myself again.

BTW… here is a little something for you namenerds out there… [name]Henry[/name]'s middle name is [name]Louis[/name]. [name]Henry[/name] [name]Louis[/name] (same last name as ours). I think its actually a lovely name. His mother was French-Canadian and his father was English-Canadian. I reread a post that I wrote earlier this week before all of this happened and I actually said that [name]Henry[/name] would be a good name for my daughters! LOL! wow. Its funny how things work out.

Oh and I did tell [name]Dottie[/name] about her cousin [name]Henry[/name] today… just to introduce him as a person to her… and to let her know that her daddy was visiting him. Of course my daughter with her head in the clouds asked if he was a prince. lol… aye aye aye… I think she is thinking in terms of [name]Cinderella[/name]… but who knows!? lol.

[name]How[/name] cute is your daughter, and I love [name]Henry[/name]'s name, sounds like he will fit like a glove.

I appreciate you taking the time to update us all. It sounds like your husband has found himself a ‘son’. However, in due course it will be apparent who will parent this dear little boy. My prayers and thoughts are with you all.

I am glad you are following doctor’s orders for rest! And thanks so much for updating us on your situation.

[name]Do[/name] the other potential guardian families live close to where [name]Henry[/name] is now? I can see why moving him might be hard, but on the other hand, it sounds like your family situation is closest to what little [name]Henry[/name] might need right now, especially since you seem to really want him. His grandparents probably really want him, too, and it would be hard on them to have him move away. But if they are aged and/or not in the best health, certainly, that would have to be taken into consideration, of course. It sounds like it will be a difficult decision, but your husband’s loving actions will only help, I’m sure. [name]Love[/name] and attention will be good for [name]Henry[/name], even if he ends up going with another family. So tell your husband not to worry about that! It’s wonderful that he could go to [name]Henry[/name] so quickly, and offer his love and support.

I can see why [name]Henry[/name]'s name intrigues you, just as choosing names for your daughters does. Until you meet little [name]Henry[/name], his name is one of the ways you can feel connected to him.

P. S. I wonder why [name]Dot[/name] thought [name]Henry[/name] might be a prince? [name]Prince[/name] [name]Henry[/name] does sound like the image – but I thought for a little girl who loves [name]Cinderella[/name], a prince would be called “[name]Prince[/name] Charming”. Or perhaps she just likes to imagine herself as related to royalty, I loved imagining things like that when I was a little girl …

Dotsmom, I’m brand new to this site & just stumbled into this story, which is both heart-rending and heart-warming. I’m poking around Nameberry because we’re expecting our second child in a few weeks, but my firstborn is a 4-year-old boy so this story hits me in the stomach a bit…
From everything you’ve said about the situation and your family, I hope two things: that [name]Henry[/name] ends up with you, and that you have really, really good support for all the logistical and emotional transitions the next months will bring. All four of those little people are going to need a lot of love and attention, in different ways. But I hear a lot of love in your and your husband’s reaction to this child, whereas the other people just sound “willing to take him.”
Thinking about my own son, the other reason I hope [name]Henry[/name] becomes part of your family is because he’ll be close in age to your older daughter. You haven’t mentioned her age in this thread, but I’m guessing from the “Is he a prince?” question that’s she’s somewhere in the 3yo ballpark? I have very little to base this on, but it seems like having a new close-in-age sibling might really help some of the loneliness of this little boy’s losses. Playing and squabbling with her will both be good distractions and opportunities for engagement with the new family! Who knows, it might even help [name]Dot[/name] get through the transition of having new babies around, to have a new big brother to play with and show around.
Prayers for your whole family network in this time of discernment and sadness.

[name]Deirdre[/name], my daughter LOVES [name]Cinderella[/name]. Last month the three of us watched the movie “[name]Ever[/name] After” (one of my favorites). I was talking to her about the movie and how [name]Danielle[/name] was really “[name]Cinderella[/name]” just like the cartoon one. And how “[name]Prince[/name] [name]Henry[/name]” in [name]Ever[/name] After was really “[name]Prince[/name] Charming” and that Charming was just his nickname, just like “[name]Dottie[/name]”. And then to add some more confusion in there, my husband added that there in a [name]Prince[/name] [name]Henry[/name]/[name]Harry[/name] in [name]England[/name]. I think in her mind all these people already existed, but she got so excited. Its really funny because not only does she look like a mini-me, our personalities are so similar and more often than not, I can connect her points of randomness together to make some sense out of it! She is adorable. :slight_smile:

One of the guardian families live in the States, and the other about 600 miles away in [name]Canada[/name] (the one with the older kids). His maternal grandmother lives in a different province. She does want to raise him, but we really feel she won’t be capable. She has been showing signs of stage 1 alzheimers. His paternal grandparents do live the closest and would be an excellent choice as well.

This is a situation that we are fully aware of… We don’t want to remove him from everything that he knows and especially his grandparents who are both grieving for his parents loss and theirs. My husband has also mentioned the possibility of us moving closer to them. Its such a difficult and complex situation that we are still trying to figure out. You know… actually writing all these thoughts out, kind of helps put a grasp on the situation.