When my mother said she would adopt two Haitian boys I thought she had lost her mind. They were staying at a friend's house in the United States until someone found them a home because they had no living relatives in Haiti. I, however was not told about this arrangement until the last possible moment I was quite surprised one afternoon when we went to pick them up. This was an experience that would change my life forever because of the older of the two little boys.
The first time I saw Freddie, he was leaning against a stroller (which held a younger boy who was a year old) watching our van with big, dark eyes, eyes I instantly fell in love with. After finalizing the adoption, and putting the two crying boys in the backseat, which was occupied by my 13-year-old brother who looked less than happy.
Then, Freddie had a name no one not even his caretaker could pronounce and it was not long after we adopted him we changed his name to Fred (my idea) Freddie for short.
I had just moved out of the house; so I gave Freddie my room and moved out along with my year-old Labrador Diesel and move into a house for rent down the street. I wasted no time in converting one of the rooms into an art studio where I kept my art supplies and spent hours doing sketches of Diesel or Freddie who visited me often. Freddie, who was eight years old at the time enjoyed sitting on my artist stool and having me draw his picture putting him into a series of adventures going wherever my pencil took him.
He enjoyed visits from my friends, who he seemed to have adopted as a second family. My girl friend Maria was tall, quiet and spent most of her time reading, but she enjoyed telling Freddie stories, which I often drew illustrations for.
My friend Andrew, who I had known since I was Freddie's age, was away at school most of the time but he came by over break to visit, talk and play board games. He was a nerd, and he loved computer and math, which, in turn helped him with his numerous science projects. I had been following him around to science fairs since as long as I could remember. Andrew, when he was home helped Freddie with his homework and taught him how to read English, which he had learned very little of had been in the United States. When I graduated from college and was living in the "house around the corner" as Freddie called it, almost all the time my life changed again.