Shotgun Bob and The Girl have acquired a new foster child whom I will name Albert. This will be their third and very likely their last foster child. The first foster child, Flounder (a large teenage female), became violent was returned to the system. The next foster child, Feed Bag (an 8 year old boy with multiple problems involving his digestive tract in its entirety), was returned home to his mother by order of the State of Tennessee. This is the same mother who tried to strangle him, thus putting Feed Bag into the system. No, I'm not kidding. Feed Bag arrived at Shotgun Bob's house with bruises around his neck from his certifiable mother and her methamphetamine dealing boyfriend. The boyfriend may or may not be in jail, but the mother is now on anti-psychotic medication and therapy which makes her perfectly safe and fit to be a mother. They say, anyway. I'm keeping an eye on the Tennessee news.
So, since the Shotgun Shack was devoid of the patter of little feet, the State offered up Albert. Albert is ten years old, slender and of average appearance. Albert's biological father surrendered his parental rights and vanished into the hinterland; his biological mother decided that she didn't want the responsibility of three children and called the State to come and get them, which, after a struggle, the State did. The trailer trash Baby Momma then signed away all her rights to the children and vanished into the hills of Tennessee, never to be seen again. Albert is the oldest of the three, and life has not been all that kind to him.
Albert has been in five foster homes over the past four years. Shotgun Bob is home number six. Given that the three children have issues (big surprise, right?) they can all be a bit difficult. Here's the history. The first foster home didn't work out when the three kids had simultaneous melt downs and had to be collected and sedated. The next foster home was a group outfit that lasted a few months, during which time the three siblings did not get along with each other at all, although I gather that it's mainly the two boys (Albert is the oldest, Sissy is the youngest). Foster home number three was okay for a while, but wasn't permanent and after multiple problems the foster parents recommended that the three kids be separated. They were, and Albert went to foster home number four where he mouthed off to his foster father who promptly pasted him a nice one right in the chops. Albert landed in the ER, and when he regained consciousness he was placed in temporary foster home number five, where he recovered. Albert was then passed along to Shotgun Bob, who interrogated the social worker until he got Albert's full history, along with an official statement that Albert was up for adoption. Shotgun Bob and The Girl are going to adopt Albert, said adoption to be final in five months.
Albert is a multiloquent child, quick to learn and unfailingly alert to new sights, sounds and phrases. Shotgun Bob had him tested for placement in school, and the testing facility reported his IQ at 111. This puts him squarely into the gifted program, but Shotgun Bob and The Girl thought it best that Albert begin public school in genpop with the rest of the hoi polloi, which tuned out to be a good thing. The other kids like Albert, especially the girls, and being bounced around like a silver ball on Tommy's favorite Bally table takes a toll on development. Give the kid a little breathing room before he's forced to run to keep up.
When they took Albert down to enroll him in school Albert informed the school Principal, “I'll have you know that I'm a straight A student.” I guess he is, too. He's never brought home anything but an 'A', and casually informed me that, “They think I have a photographic memory.” Maybe so. The next few years will be interesting, more so since Albert is clearly brighter than The Girl and likely smarter than Shotgun Bob. I can hardly wait for high school to begin.