An orphaned boy who has found his home runs away from his foster parents one night, leaving a note: “My brother needs me”. The heartbreaking sight they witness later prompts them to make a difficult choice.
A year ago Vincent and Courtney opened the doors of their home to Oscar, a shy 13-year-old boy. They found Oscar in an orphanage, and when they first saw him, they immediately knew he was the right boy. It was love at first sight. Then they had to make a difficult choice: take Oscar alone into their home or take him along with his eight-year-old brother Gerry.
Oscar and Gerry had lost their parents in a car accident and were put up for adoption. The brothers were sure they would find a loving family who would take them in together. But little did they know what fate had in store for them when Vincent and Courtney made their choice.
The couple was not financially well-off and knew they could afford to raise only one child. The choice was apparent as Vincent and Courtney’s hearts went out to Oscar, and they decided to take him home, away from his little brother…
Before proceeding with the adoption, the couple wanted the boy to ‘try’ adapting to his new family. Of course, they loved him and wanted him to be their son forever. But Oscar’s choice also mattered to them, so they gave him enough space to decide before taking things to the next level.
Soon, Vincent and Courtney took Oscar home, and during his first week, he only sat in his room behind closed doors, painfully staring at Jerry’s old pictures or listening to his voice on an old cassette player. Jerry was taken by another foster family shortly after and lived on the city’s outskirts. Oscar missed his brother terribly and did not even want to talk to his foster parents.
Then one day, Vincent brought a new video game and asked the boy if he wanted to play. To his surprise, Oscar nodded with a shy smile blooming at the corner of his face.
“I told you, didn’t I?! Oscar will love us. He will blend with our family so well,” Vincent exclaimed delightfully.
Love and kindness are the bricks and cement that build a family, while anger, obsession, and jealousy are like wrecking balls that tear it down.
Courtney sighed, but the other part of her heart wished for Oscar to completely forget about his brother. She wanted him to love and regard them as his parents and stop talking about his brother all the time. She and Vincent would easily get annoyed whenever Oscar bragged about Jerry.
Months passed, and when the boy they dreamed of raising as their beloved son only kept talking about Jerry, Vincent and Courtney decided to put an end to it.
One day, Courtney wanted to show Oscar the fun side of the family and invited him to bake a cake with her. They enjoyed every bit of doing it together. Oscar laughed his heart out, and for the first time, he did not talk about Jerry. Or that’s what Courtney thought until he scooped a finger-full of cake batter and licked it, tears gushing in his eyes.
“My brother always did this when we helped mommy bake a cake!” he said tearfully. “I miss my brother. I want to see him.”
Oscar’s laughter turned into a frown, and he walked away, leaving Courtney with more than a broken heart seething with disappointment. He started missing Jerry again, and it did not go well with Courtney and Vincent as they wished to exclusively stay in his heart forever.
In May that year, just a few months before initiating the adoption process, Vincent asked Oscar a question after surprising him with his favorite gaming console.
“Oscar, are you ready to become a permanent member of our family?!”
Courtney and Vincent pursed their lips, waiting for the boy’s reply. But they did not get to hear what their hearts wanted.
“I want to meet Jerry. His birthday is arriving next week. I’ll talk to him first,” Oscar said, fidgeting with his console.
His reply left his foster parents furious, but they didn’t show it. They were enraged with Jerry for still stalking Oscar’s heart and unknowingly holding him back from moving on with his new family. Not that they hated Jerry, but they were annoyed with him for being Oscar’s true love.
“When shall we get a birthday present for my brother? I always used to get him something nice from my pocket money. But my allowance stopped after our parents died. Can you please help me buy a gift for him?”
Courtney and Vincent refused with vague excuses.
“Uh, actually, I’m swamped with work right now. Maybe some other time, alright?” Vincent said.
“Sweetie, the weather is rough, and even if we get a gift, we’ll not be able to meet your brother,” Courtney said and stormed away, frowning.
That night, the couple could not sleep peacefully. They second-guessed if they had done the right thing by fostering Oscar away from his brother. They loved him to the core and wanted him to reciprocate their feelings for him.
“We should do something. We cannot let him only think about Jerry. That boy needs to get out of Oscar’s head.”
“You’re right, honey,” said Vincent. “We’ll talk to Oscar first thing tomorrow morning. Now get some sleep. Goodnight.”
The following morning, Vincent woke up to Courtney shrieking at the top of her voice. He ran to find out and stood back in shock outside Oscar’s bedroom. The boy was not there, and on his bed lay a note tucked into an envelope with a flower placed on top.
“Where did he go? Oh my God, where is he?” Courtney exclaimed anxiously as she marched to the bed and lifted the note.
“What is it, honey? Show me…” Vincent grabbed the paper and gaped wide-eyed with shock after reading the words: “My Brother Needs Me.”
Vincent and Courtney checked the room and saw the window was wide open. Oscar had fled their home the previous night when they were asleep. Vincent grabbed his car keys, and as they stormed out to drive to Jerry’s place, a phone call from the city hospital startled them.
“Mr. Will, your son is in our hospital and…” the caller informed, and before listening to her fully, Courtney and Vincent rushed to the hospital.
“Hello… Mr. Will? Hello?” the woman from the hospital hung up and called them again, but they never answered.
“I hope he’s okay… Jesus, please, we want him to be safe,” Courtney cried as they darted into the hospital, looking for Oscar.
“It’s the second ward to the right,” the receptionist told them.
Courtney and Vincent barged into the ward and froze.
“OSCAR?? HOW DID YOU GET HERE… OH MY GOD, WHAT HAPPENED TO YOU?”
As the couple strode closer, they saw that Oscar was perfectly alright and was sitting beside Jerry, who was seriously ill.
“I am sorry. I should’ve told you, but I was afraid you would not let me out at night. I secretly called my brother last night, and his foster mom told me that he was in the hospital. I was frightened something had happened to him, so I ran out of your house to meet my brother here. I was worried, so I asked the nurse to call and inform you I was here.”
Courtney and Vincent were moved to tears when they witnessed Oscar’s love for his brother. He hugged Jerry and softly spoke, “Don’t worry… I’ll take care of you. I’ll not leave you again.”
Once again, the couple was forced to make another difficult choice. They were head over heels in love with Oscar and wished for his happiness. And his joy was in being close to his brother.
“Honey, can you please come with me for a second? I want to tell you something,” Courtney took Vincent aside as they made another life-changing decision.
They returned to the ward moments later and melted into tears after Oscar proposed a heartwarming request before they could even disclose their decision.
“Daddy, mommy, can we take Jerry home with us??”
Vincent and Courtney could not believe their ears when they heard Oscar call them ‘daddy and mommy.’ They had been waiting to hear those two golden words and could not hold back their tears.
“Yes… yes… yes!!!” Courtney nodded as she and Vincent hugged Oscar and Jerry. But the next significant hurdle their way was Jerry’s foster parents. They were childless and were delighted to adopt the boy. But after seeing Oscar’s love for Jerry and Courtney and Vincent’s love for the boys, they changed their minds and agreed to send Jerry with them.
A few months later, Oscar and Jerry were legally adopted by Courtney and Vincent. As time fleeted by, Oscar understood his parents’ struggles in raising them and didn’t want to burden them. He stopped taking pocket allowance from his adoptive parents and started working part-time at 16. He always had his best foot forward to help them raise his brother with love and care in their forever home!