Post by wildheartashley on Jul 31, 2022 6:09:28 GMT -5
Kayla and Rachel had just finished up the last closing procedures for the day when the front door of the clinic opened. Steve rushed in from the storm, carrying a child. Kayla looked at her husband in surprise. “Steve,” she said. “What’s going on?” “Hey baby,” Steve greeted. “I found this little guy out in the storm. He was behind the clinic by the dumpsters.” Kayla walked over to where Steve was standing with the child. She took in the sight before her. The little boy was wet from head to toe,and he was clutching his shoe. Kayla noticed that his one foot was bare. “Hi there,” Kayla said gently. The boy didn’t say a word. He just looked at Kayla with big confused eyes. “Why don’t you bring him back in an exam room,” Kayla said. “We can get him checked out. Rachel hasn’t left yet.” Steve nodded, and followed Kayla back into an empty exam room. Steve gently sat the boy on the exam table. Kayla left the room for a moment, and then returned with blankets and towels. “Alright sweetie, let’s get you dried off.” Kayla set to work. She wrapped a towel around the boy, and gently began to towel him off. Once the little boy was a bit drier, Kayla wrapped a blanket around him. The boy looked warmer, and he smiled up at Kayla. He reached his hands out of the blanket, and sat on the exam table, taking in his surroundings. “What’s your name?” Kayla asked. The boy said nothing, and just stared at Kayla. “He didn’t say a word to me either,” Steve confirmed. ‘I thought he was scared of the storm.” Steve knelt beside the boy. “Hey, buddy,” Steve spoke gently. “We want to help you. Can you tell us your name? We won’t hurt you.” The little boy then took both of his hands, and held them to his throat. He then pointed both hands to his ears. Kayla and Steve both looked at one another, knowingly. They knew those signs. The little boy was deaf. They both nodded, knowing what needed to be done next. Kayla began signing to the boy. “Are you deaf?” Kayla spoke and signed to the boy. The boy shook his head excitedly, and signed “Yes” to Kayla. “Steve jumped into the conversation and began to sign to the boy. “Can you read lips?” The boy signed back “Yes.” “Good,” Kayla said. “At least he can understand us if we speak to him.” “And we know sign language, so we can communicate with him,” Steve reasoned. The boy looked at Steve and Kayla. He began signing to them. He signed that his name was Benjy. Both Steve and Kayla signed to Benjy their names. Steve then asked Benjy his age, signing and speaking as he interacted with the boy. Benjy signed back that he was six years old. “You are a little guy for six,” Steve said as he signed to Benjy. Benjy smiled and nodded. “What were you doing out in the rain?” Kayla signed to Benjy. Benjy began a long sign language conversation with Steve and Kayla. He explained to them that he had run away from his home. Benjy explained that he lived with other boys, and that the boys were mean to him. Benjy went on to explain that no one who he lived with knew sign language, and that he couldn’t communicate with anyone. “Do you live in a group home?” Kayla signed. Benjy nodded, and signed that he did not want to go back to the group home. Benjy then pointed to his bare foot. Kayla looked at his foot. She noticed that his ankle was swollen, along with Benjy’s toes. “What happened to your foot?” Kayla asked. Benjy took his hands and began to sign quickly, making light moaning noises as he signed. He explained that when he ran away, he had seen a big scary dog. The dog had shown his big teeth at Benjy. Benjy made a muffled sound as he continued to sign. Both Steve and Kayla figured that Benjy was trying to imitate the dog. Benjy continued, and signed that the dog had scared him. He ran from the dog,and fell down a hill. He then wandered a while longer till he came to the pier and the clinic.
Steve and Kayla watched as Benjy signed what had happened to him. Once finished, Benjy looked expectantly at them, pleased with himself that he was able to sign to people who could hear. “You might have a sprained ankle,” Kayla said gently and slowly. Benjy watched Kayla’s lips move, and nodded in understanding. Hurt ankle Benjy signed back to her. Kayla signed yes. “I’m going to get a doctor to look at your ankle,” Kayla signed. “Okay, Benjy?” Benjy nodded. Steve stay Benjy signed back. “Yes, I’ll stay,” Steve signed back. Kayla then left the room, and went to find Rachel. She explained to Rachel what was happening, and that the little boy that Steve had found was deaf. Rachel said that she didn’t know sign language. Kayla assured Rachel that she and Steve did know sign language, and that they would help interpret for Benjy. Kayla did assure Rachel that Benjy could read lips if the person was to talk slow enough. Rachel nodded in understanding.
Post by wildheartashley on Aug 7, 2022 19:31:10 GMT -5
The women entered the exam room. Kayla introduced Rachel and Benjy. Benjy signed “Hi”, while Steve interpreted for him. Rachel set to work to examine Benjy’s ankle. She confirmed Kayla’s suspicions. Benjy did indeed have a sprained ankle. Kayla then signed to Benjy that he did have a sprained ankle. Benjy’s bottom lip began to quiver. “Hey little man,” Steve said slowly as he signed. “You’re going to be just fine. Your ankle will heal in no time.” Benjy signed back. “What will happen to me?” He then made big sweeping motions with his arms, as he continued to sign. “I do not want to go back to the group home.” Benjy then crossed his arms in front of him for dramatic effect. “What did he say?” Rachel asked. “He doesn’t want to go back to the group home,” Kayla said. Rachel nodded. “I need to call social services. I’m sure someone is missing him.” Kayla nodded. Rachel then left the room to make the call. Steve and Kayla sat with Benjy. Kayla got an ice pack, and instructed Benjy to elevate his leg,and she then put the ice pack around his ankle. Benjy signed back, “Cold.” “Sorry sweetie,” Kayla said. “The ice will help.” Benjy nodded, and settled back on the exam table, still wrapped up in the blankets. He then drifted off to sleep. Once they saw that Benjy was asleep, Steve and Kayla left the exam room for a few minutes. Kayla went into the lounge, and made hot chocolate. She gave Steve a mug of steaming cocoa, and warmed another one for Benjy. “Poor little guy,” Kayla said. “I know baby,” Steve said as he took a sip of his hot chocolate. “It’s plain to see that he doesn’t want to go back to the group home,” Kayla said. “What do you think will happen?” “I don’t know,” Steve said. Kayla then got a glimmer in her eye. “Sweetness, what?” Steve knew that look. Kayla was thinking something. “Steve,” Kayla said, “We could take him. Benjy could come live with us.” Steve put down his mug, and looked at his wife. He couldn’t believe what he was hearing. They weren’t even married for a full two months,and Kayla was now suggesting that they bring a child into their home. Steve stared at Kayla in disbelief. Could they really give this little boy what he needed?
Post by wildheartashley on Aug 14, 2022 9:51:42 GMT -5
Before Steve and Kayla had time to continue their discussion about what Kayla had just suggested, Benjy’s social worker arrived at the clinic. She was a middle aged woman, named Janet Banning. The woman talked with Steve, Kayla,and Rachel about Benjy. Steve had explained what had happened to Benjy,and how he had come to find him. Janet Banning seemed frustrated with the situation,and the fact that Benjy had run away. Kayla too was a bit frustrated, and yet tried to remain calm and professional when talking with Benjy’s social worker. Kayla calmly explained that Benjy didn’t want to go back to the group home. That no one there could sign,and that Benjy felt that he couldn’t communicate with anyone. Janet Banning understood what Kayla was saying, but she also expressed to the group that there was no where else for Benjy to go. Foster homes were not plentiful of parents who could care for a child who was deaf. Kayla then countered that she and Steve could care for Benjy. At that moment, Rachel thought it would be best for her to excuse herself from the conversation, so that she could go check on Benjy. Steve offered to go with Rachel, so that he could interpret for Benjy. Kayla was now alone with the social worker. Kayla looked at the woman determined. “Ms. Banning, Benjy deserves to be in a home where he can communicate with a family. My husband and I can offer that to him.” “Oh,” Janet said pointedly. “How? Cause I haven’t yet found a family who wants to care for Benjamin. His own family abandoned him because they didn’t want a deaf child.” Kayla’s heart broke for Benjy. “That’s terrible,” Kayla said softly. “My husband and I, we know sign language. We can communicate with Benjy. We want to care for him.” Janet Banning was quiet for a long moment. “You are a nurse?” She finally asked. Kayla nodded. “Yes, I am. At this clinic,and my husband, Steve, he’s a private investigator.” “Those are demanding jobs,” Janet countered. “How would a child with special needs fit into that?” This social worker was really giving Kayla a run for her money, yet Kayla could understand why she was doing so. This woman needed to make sure that Kayla and Steve could provide for Benjy. “We will make things work,” Kayla countered back. “I can take a leave of absence from the clinic. A maternity leave so to speak, so that I can get everything set for Benjy. I have a very large, very close family. I know that my parents would help us.” “Does your family know sign language?” “No,” Kayla said honestly. “But Benjy can read lips, and with all due respect, Ms. Banning, you don’t know sign language either. Yet you need to work with Benjy.” “You make a good point,” Mrs. Johnson. Why don’t we go see Benjamin. I’d like to see you and your husband interact with the boy. I’ll make my mind up then.” Kayla thought that was a fair assessment. Kayla nodded, and she led Janet Banning into the exam room. They walked in to find Benjy sitting up on the exam table, drinking a mug of hot chocolate. Benjy observed the women enter the room, and signed to Steve. “Benjy in trouble.” Steve signed back to Benjy that it would be fine. Benjy handed his mug to Rachel, and she then left the room to give everyone privacy. She promised Kayla that she wouldn’t leave till everything was cleared up.
Post by wildheartashley on Aug 21, 2022 9:33:31 GMT -5
Once Rachel was gone, Janet Banning looked at Benjy sternly. She began to speak. “Benjamin you ran away. That was very dangerous. Why? Why did you leave?” Benjy looked at the woman with big eyes. Kayla then spoke up, slowly and gently. She signed as she spoke. “Benjy, it’s okay. You tell her what you told me and Steve.” Benjy nodded. “I’ll talk for you, little man,” Steve offered as he signed to Benjy. The little boy nodded. He began to sign to his social worker, and recounted his tale of why he had left the group home, and his encounter with the scary dog. As Benjy signed, Steve spoke and interpreted for him. Once Benjy was finished, he ended his story with how nice Steve and Kayla were. He signed to his social worker that he liked them, and how he liked that Steve and Kayla could sign with him. Janet Banning was quiet for a moment. She asked to speak with Steve and Kayla outside. They obliged, and told Benjy that they would be right back. The trio then left the room. Once out in the hall, Janet Banning looked at Steve and Kayla. “You really want to take him?” Before Kayla could say anything, Steve spoke first. “Yes, we do. I think I can speak for my wife when I say that we’ve unexpectedly fallen in love with the little guy. We know what he needs. Kayla had lost her hearing for a period of time, and I learned sign language so we could continue to communicate. I learned how to care and interact with someone who is deaf. We want to do this.” Janet nodded. She looked at Kayla. “Is that true?” Kayla nodded. “Yes, it is. I was deaf for a time. Steve and I mean what we say. We want to care for Benjy. We want to be his foster parents.” “I can see that,” Janet said. “I have to admit, this is a very unusual circumstance. We don’t usually accept foster parents like this, but Benjamin is a special exception. Like I said, special needs foster families don’t grow on trees. Benjamin’s family didn’t want him because of his deafness. So, I think I can make a plea on your behalf and a petition for you both to be Benjamin’s emergency foster placement. I can bring the paperwork to your home tomorrow, and we can talk further.” “And tonight?” Kayla asked hopeful. Janet smiled slightly. “Benjamin can go home with you tonight.” “Thank you,” both Steve and Kayla said in unison. Janet nodded, and turned away from Steve and Kayla. She walked back into the exam room. Steve and Kayla followed her back into the room. Benjy still sat on the exam table, looking at the trio of adults expectantly. “Benjamin,” Janet spoke, “Would you like to go live with Steve and Kayla.” Benjy didn’t sign for a long time. He just sat and stared at Janet Banning. Steve then signed to Benjy. “Benjy, did you see what your social worker asked you?” Benjy nodded slowly. He began to sign. “Benjy want to go with Steve and Kayla. Benjy’s new family.” Kayla felt tears prick at her eyes as she interpreted for Benjy. “Only temporarily basis,” Janet assured Benjy. “We need to see how Steve and Kayla do as parents.” Benjy looked surprised as he stared at his social worker. He crossed his arms in front of him. Janet looked frustrated. “What did I say?” Steve spoke up. “I don’t think he liked what you said.” Benjy then began to sign. “Steve and Kayla will do good for Benjy.” Kayla smiled as she interpreted for Benjy, and repeated what he had just signed. Janet Banning decided not to say another word, and she left to get Benjy’s things from the group home. She returned to the clinic a short time after with Benjy’s bag. He only had one bag of belongings. Kayla assured Janet that she and Steve would get anything else that Benjy may need. Janet Banning didn’t say much else, and assured Steve and Kayla that she would come by their home tomorrow, so that they could continue their discussion. But for now, they should get Benjy home, so that he could get a good night’s sleep. Steve and Kayla both agreed. Steve took Benjy’s bag, while Kayla took Benjy’s case file from the social worker. Rachel then came back into the room, and helped Benjy get his shoe on his injured foot. She gave Kayla and Steve instructions on how to care for Benjy’s sprained ankle. Everyone then left the clinic, satisfied with the night's outcome.
Post by wildheartashley on Aug 28, 2022 16:39:45 GMT -5
The next couple of days went quickly for Kayla and Steve. Just as Janet Banning had promised, she had come to Kayla and Steve’s home the next day to continue their discussion about Benjy, and his transition into Kayla and Steve’s care. As the adults talked, Benjy explored his new home with curiosity. He noticed that there were a lot of pictures arranged around the house. Benjy thought that the people in the pictures must be family. Benjy felt a pang of excitement about that fact, but he also felt nervous for not being able to fully communicate with those people as well. Benjy sat on the living room couch, and turned the television on. That morning as Kayla had been making breakfast, Steve had shown Benjy how to turn Closed Caption on for the TV. Benjy had studied Steve’s instruction closely, all the time, Steve had been talking slowly and signing for Benjy as he showed him how to work the TV. Now, alone, Benjy turned the TV on,and found a channel that was playing Scooby Doo. He smiled, as he enabled the closed caption option on the TV. Benjy settled on the couch and began to watch TV as he waited for the adults to finish in the kitchen. A little while later, Kayla and Steve came into the living room. They had had a good meeting with Janet Banning. She had brought the official paperwork for Steve and Kayla to sign that made them Benjy’s official foster parents. Janet thought that it would be a good idea for Benjy to return to school next week, so that he could spend the rest of the week getting acclimated to his new home and family. Both Kayla and Steve had agreed that would be a good idea. That would also give the Johnson’s time to meet Benjy’s teachers before he returned to school the following week. Janet said that she had already contacted the elementary school,and told them of Benjy’s new living arrangement. Kayla promised that she too would call the school,and set up a time for she and Steve to go and meet Benjy’s teachers. Kayla also assured Janet Banning that she and Steve would be getting Benjy new clothes, and belongings. As Kayla was putting away Benjy’s belongings that morning, she had noticed how a lot of the clothes were worn looking. Steve also observed that Benjy didn’t have any toys. Both Steve and Kayla concurred that they would have to do something about that. Janet Banning was pleased with the Johnson’s commitment to Benjy, and she then left their home, promising that she would check in with them next week. Once she was gone, Kayla and Steve went into the living room to check on Benjy. They found him watching TV. Steve grinned. “Little man followed directions well.” Kayla smiled. She walked over to the couch,and Sat with Benjy. “Hey,” Kayla signed. “What are you watching?” Benjy beamed at Kayla. He signed back. “Done with meeting?” Kayla signed back that the meeting was done. Benjy signed back that he was watching Scooby. “Want to watch too?” Benjy signed back. Kayla and Steve both signed yes. They sat on the couch with Benjy,and continued to watch the episode of Scooby Doo. Once the show was over, Benjy turned off the TV,and looked at Steve and Kayla questionably. “What’s up?” Steve asked. Benjy motioned to the pictures arranged in the living room. “Family?” Benjy signed. “Yes, family,” Kayla spoke. “They are your family now too.” Benjy beamed. “Benjy never had big family before,” he signed back. “It was just Benjy, and Mama, and Bart.” “Who is Bart?” Steve asked. “Mama’s husband,” Benjy signed back. "Bart mean," Benjy signed.
“I’m sorry,” Kayla said. Benjy crossed his arms in front of him. He continued to sign to Steve and Kayla. “Benjy not want to talk about that. Steve and Kayla is Benjy’s new family. And all of these.” Benjy motioned to the pictures throughout the living room. “Who are they all?” He signed. Kayla and Steve began telling Benjy about their family. They showed Benjy each picture of a specific person as they talked about them. They signed each family member’s name to Benjy, so that he had that particular name and the sign that went with it. Benjy seemed very excited about Sami and Eric. He had signed to Steve and Kayla that he had seen Sami and Eric around school, but Benjy didn’t have any friends.
Post by wildheartashley on Sept 4, 2022 16:34:03 GMT -5
Once they were done telling Benjy about their families, Steve and Kayla took Benjy to the Brady Pub for lunch. While there, Kayla introduced Benjy to her parents, Shawn and Caroline. Caroline gave Benjy a big hug to welcome him to the family. Shawn promised to take Benjy fishing before the weather got bad. Benjy signed that he had never gone fishing before, and signed for Steve to come with him when that fishing day came. Steve promised that he would come along when it was time. Once done with lunch, the family of three went to Salem Place, the local shopping plaza to buy Benjy new clothes, and other belongings. While Kayla was clothes shopping for Benjy, Steve took Benjy into the toy store. He told Benjy that he could pick out a few toys. Benjy signed back that he didn’t want to pick out a lot of toys, in case he would have to leave the Johnson’s home, he couldn’t take the new toys with him. Steve felt a pang of sadness as he watched Benjy sign this to him. Steve knelt in front of Benjy in a toy aisle. He spoke clearly,and gently to Benjy. “Hey, little man, you aren’t going anywhere. Kayla and I want to have you in our home. But if it makes you feel better, you pick out what you feel comfortable with.” Benjy nodded. Benjy signed back that he would get two toys. Steve figured that was good for now, and decided not to say another word. Benjy then took Steve’s hand, and began pulling him down the different toy aisles. Benjy had finally decided on getting a Lego set, and a stuffed teddy bear. Pleased with his new toys, Benjy signed to Steve that he was ready to leave the store. Steve and Benjy walked out of the toy store,and found Kayla laden down with shopping bags. “Wow, baby,” Steve said. “Did you buy out the entire boy’s department?” Kayla grinned. “Do you think I went overboard?” Steve was quiet for a moment, remembering what Benjy had told him in the toy store. “Uh, I don’t know.” Benjy looked at all of the bags that Kayla was carrying. He signed to Kayla. “All those things for Benjy?” “Yes,” Kayla said. “I got you new clothes, and a new jacket, and a coat for winter. And two new pairs of shoes.” Benjy’s bottom lip began to quiver. He signed to Kayla. “Too much. Benjy not keep if he leaves.” Steve spoke up quickly. “Kay, maybe we need to assess what you bought, and have Benjamin here tell us what he wants to keep.” Kayla was quiet for a moment. She understood where Benjy was coming from. All of this kindness and attention had to be overwhelming for Benjy. Kayla nodded. Kayla motioned to a section of tables and chairs, and the three of them walked over to the sitting area. Kayla began to show Benjy everything that she had bought for him. Benjy methodically decided what clothing and accessories that he wanted to keep. Once Benjy was finished, Kayla and Steve were pleased with what Benjy had decided to keep for himself. Benjy had decided on a nice sizable new wardrobe, complete with a fall jacket, winter coat,and new pajamas, along with school clothes,and casual play clothes. Benjy had also liked both pairs of shoes that Kayla had picked out for him,and was adamant to keep both pairs. The rest of the clothes that Kayla had bought for him that he didn’t want, Kayla quickly returned to the clothing store. Once back from the clothing store, the new family of three left the shopping plaza.