6 TBSP cocoa, 1/4 C butter, 1 C sugar, 1/2 tsp vanilla, 1/3 C flour, 2 eggs, Cook 350 - 25 mins.


MEMORY #5...

Baby boy #3

I loaded Daxx, Kole and Brise into our family van on a hot August day in 2004. I didn't quite know where I was going but I was excited to get there. I had the directions in my hands but they were poorly given and I was unfamiliar with the area. The trip should have taken about 1 1/2 hours. It took us three. By the time I got to the house where my son was staying I was tired, the boys in the van were in a daze and the day was nearly gone. I drove into the driveway of Vinze's temporary home with a little wariness in my stomach. I was warned that his foster mom was known to have adopted and given children back and her comments on the phone to me gave me cause for concern that she could be rude front of the children. I told the boys to stay in the van.

I walked left toward the house but heard voices to my right. As I looked toward the sounds I saw an angelic pond with greenery growing all around it. I looked for movement. Almost like spotting a deer well hidden I spotted a very small boy crouched down next to the water. He was trying to catch something. The little pail next to him was nearly 1/3 his size. I noticed that I had stopped walking. I smiled a little to myself as I came out of the moment. Vinze was 4 years and 4 months old. He stood up and turned toward me when he noticed his foster mother looking in my direction. His head cocked to one side and I could tell that he was a little uneasy. Another person coming to take him away from yet another house. I was glad that I had decided to wear my red m&m shirt. I smiled really big. He smiled a little and said, "I'm catching frogs!"

His big brown eyes reminded me of my mother. His little body and little voice was precious. He swayed heavily from side to side trying to get up the little hill...trying to look like a "big boy," I was sure of it. His expression was shy but bold as only a saddened 4 year old spirit can be. He wanted to like me but experience made him afraid to trust. His foster mother came closer and asked me why I didn't call before I left. She said his bags weren't packed. She knew I was coming that day. I can't imagine why his bags weren't packed, I thought to myself. I didn't answer. I just talked with Vinze. He liked my shirt and hopped right into the van with his twin brothers. His baby brothers were given to us 2 days prior. After a few minutes the woman managed to scrape together a bag of clothes to hand to me. I said the pertinent thank you's and was out the door. Thank God we were leaving.

Vinze talked nearly the whole way home. He told me stories about his birth mom and the people who took him away from his house. He was glad to be back with his brothers and later told me that he was scared of Brise. Vinnie was so, so small. We are so, so big and tall. How was this going to play out? I had so many questions running through my mind. Could he feel safe in our home?

Falling in Love,

The next day I was working in our kitchen listening to the kids play outside through the open kitchen window. I heard an argument ensue. I peered out the window to see Brise, our 7 year old, full foot taller than Vinze, son hovering over Vinnie. I watched to see how this would play out. Brise was trying to intimidate, trying to find out who's top dog in the house. Vinze would have none of it. "You think you've got it goin' on buddy, Bring it on! I can take you!" came the response from Vinze in his best Italian puffed up, standing tall, looking you straight in the eye voice. At THAT moment I knew he was ours. Brise laughed and he was "in." The rest is history.

Vinze is a big dog in a small dog package. He can take on the world and win! Brave is his middle name.

Vinze Glen-Dale

Vinze is a shortened version of Vinnie's given name. It is stronger and more his personality. Glen-Dale is my father's full name. He is one tough kid and he needed a name that reflected it. It didn't take long to name Vinze. His name almost jumped out at me when it came time to pick it. His birthday is the same month as my father's and his personality is just as strong.

That's the story of Vinze. He's one of a kind!

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