I remember visiting the Morgans before they took us in. I thought their house was a mansion just because it had stairs! The yard seemed huge through my 8 year old eyes. They had 3 cars which I thought made them rich, no matter that they were old cars and one was a truck with pig bars on it. See, we had not lived in one place long enough to call it home. All I wanted now was a home. I was scared and I had a brother and 2 little sisters who were even more afraid.
After the trial, there were numerous hearings to try to place us with various family members. No one was able to take all 4 of us in together and the court was trying to keep us united (thank goodness). I think if we had been separated, we would not have fared as well as we have, even considering the events that took place in our placement home. At the time, I didn’t really understand or even care that my grandmother or aunt could not take us. It wasn’t until later, after abuse began, that I interpreted this as rejection. I believed that no one wanted us because we were bad.
The Morgan family, William Huey Jr. and his wife and 7 kids, seemed to be the angels that had been commanded to camp around us. They came in and said, “We’ll take them. All of them.” Hallelujah! My fantasies seemed to become reality, even if only briefly. Mr. Morgan was a distant cousin of my mother. His mother and my mother’s grandfather (my great grandfather) were brother and sister. Confusing, yes, but family now. We had never seen them or heard of them before this. I’m still not sure how they heard about us or why they came.
When we moved in, we didn’t have much. Hand me downs became the norm for us, which was fine with me because I wasn’t much accustomed to fancy new duds anyway. I wasn’t sure, and still am not, what to call where we were. The standard answer would be home, but almost immediately I knew this was not home, and these people DID NOT take us in because they wanted to love and nurture us.
I guess it was about 2 weeks after we moved in that my fantasy came crashing down like a cloud that had a blowout. I was in the den and I was supposed to be watching my 5 month old sister, who was laying on a flip cushion chair, the kind that folds out so you can lay on it. Well, she rolled off the chair and hit the hard wood floor with a loud thump. Before I could breathe something had snatched me up by my britches and flipped me, holding me in the air by my skinny little feet, and proceeded to whip me across my behind, then dropped me on the floor. I couldn’t believe it. As vicious as my daddy was to my momma, he never laid a hand on us kids. I think I had gotten one spanking in my life for throwing sand in my brothers eyes. This just rocked me to the core. After I gathered what dignity I had left, I walked outside, watching over my shoulder to make sure the monster wasn’t coming to snatch me up again, and I sat on the front steps to gather my senses. Mr. Morgan came out and gave me this revelation, ” YOU are responsible for them kids. If you don’t want to go back where you came from eating ketchup sandwiches and Cheerios, you better watch yourself.” At that moment, I understood what I had to do (and I would have killed for a ketchup sandwich right then). I knew that no matter what the circumstance or how bad it might hurt or how much trouble it might seem like, I had to protect these kids from the evil that had infiltrated our lives, even if it meant that I had to be the Isaac for this Abraham.