UCOG Blog Logo
News and views from the German-language region of Europe

August 27, 2005

Hawaiian prom king

Filed under Back in the USA

Ever try to do something helpful and wonder if it really helped? I guess that is the way I felt 13 years ago in Manila when we were foster parents for a 3 year old Filipino boy named Timmy.

I don’t know what Timmy’s last name was back then. No one else did either. He was about two years old when he was found wandering around at the "Luneta" a large park area near the old Manila Hotel fronting Manila bay. Timmy had apparently been abandoned by his parents. He wound up in an orphanage, and then was a foster child for about seven months with an Australian family. The paperwork for Timmy’s adoption by an American family in Hawaii was supposed to be completed before the Australian family returned home to Australia, but the paperwork took a lot longer than expected. The family left, and we agreed to take Timmy for the interim. He was our third foster child in the nearly 7 years that we lived in the Philippines.

Timmy already spoke some English, with his sentence structure often influenced by Tagalog, the main Philippine language. He understood that his new Mommy was in Hawaii – however he understood that in his 3 year old mind – and that she would be coming on an airplane to get him. foster child Timmy So he called Monica "Auntie" instead of mom, and whenever he rode with us in the car and it rained, he was quick to say "Can’t see, Auntie, can’t see", which was his way of requesting that we turn on the windshield wipers. Several times during the 3 months that he stayed with us a large airplane flew fairly low overhead on its approach to the Manila airport. "Mommy, Daddy, not today" was his quick response.

Timmy was cheerful enough, but had a tendency to be nervous when disappointed. I attributed that to the changes he had already experienced in his life, including the departure of his Australian foster parents when they had to return home. Finally the paperwork for his adoption was completed and the big day came – Timmy’s mom came to pick him up. Timmy had no problem getting into the taxi to ride with her to the airport for the flight to Hawaii. He was ready to go.

In the months and years since then, I have often wondered how things went with Timmy. So it was a very pleasant surprise to get an email from his mom, telling us how he was doing. She sent along a prom picture of Tim, now age 15, with his date. What a fine young fellow he has turned out to be! I have no idea how many high school students attended that prom, but Tim, our former foster child, was the real prom king that night.

Paul Kieffer's blog with personal insights and news from the German-language region in Europe.


internal links:


search blog: