The video footage was grainy, but Taylor recognized them easily. He just shook his head in disappointment. After everything he had done, every extra bit of attention, reading the advice books, counselors, it had come to this. A total disregard for others, the instructor and respect for others’ property and well being.
Taylor was the new father of two 13 year old foster children, twin boys, abandoned by their parents at an early age. The boys had been in the state system since age seven. Taylor thought he could manage them, and decided to give them the unconditional love he thought was missing from their childhood. He enrolled them in local sports teams he thought they would enjoy, bought them trendy clothing, gave them cel phones and basically spoiled them in his home. He so enjoyed fatherhood, he seriously considered trying to adopt the boys. He was single and this might pose a problem, but he approached the boys about it. They were surprised, but eager to have what Taylor thought was a dream come true for them.
The boys were happy on the outside and seemed pretty normal so far, in Taylor’s eyes. As time went on he noticed small things but ignored their indications. It started with missing assignments in school, graduating to misbehaving in class, intimidation escalating to fights at free time, stealing food, and other behaviors that took Taylor by surprise. He decided counseling both at school and professionally might be the answer. The teenaged boys were getting bigger and Taylor had no assurances from these sessions things would change.
At one of the sport classes the boys were taking, the instructor videoed his sessions. It was one of these taped sessions that Taylor was watching now. The karate teacher was a large Korean man and very strict in his classes. He had spoken at length with Taylor and assured him his classes would show an improvement in the boys’ behavior. However, his attempts failed and after the unusual frustration of this teacher, Taylor was shown a video of the final class the boys were allowed to take.
Discouraged by all attempts to help the boys, Taylor decided to discontinue his foster parent decision. He tried in every way he knew how, to be the one to help the boys, but with no success. The twins did not react with remorse to his decision, in fact they showed no emotion whatsoever. They had been through this before. They did not seem to realize it was their behavior at fault and fared better in foster homes where they were one of many, not supervised closely, and counting down to when they could be out and on their own.