A Thanksgiving Day Story: Jef and Guy
Jef and Guy met at a residential treatment center for young men. Jeff was living in one of the cottages, and Guy worked on staff. One of Guy’s earliest memories of Jef is when the young man hid during a head count and Guy panicked. When he returned to the room with a security guard, Jef was there snuggled under his blankets. In that moment, Guy knew he was going to have his hands full with Jef.
Over time, Jef and Guy got to know each other better. One Thanksgiving weekend, Jeff returned to the center early from leave with his family and shared with Guy that he had been abused during his home visit. Jef felt safe talking with Guy, and this moment brought them even closer together. Jef viewed Guy differently than the rest of the residential treatment center’s staff. He felt Guy was more willing to take time to sit, listen, and talk to the young residents about their problems. After that weekend, Jef would regularly sit with Guy whenever he was working and spend time with him, watching comedy shows such as Family Guy.
Not long after Thanksgiving, Jef told his social worker he wanted Guy to serve as his permanent parent. The social worker shared this with Guy; at first Guy felt unsure and unsettled by the idea. He had already raised a son and had no plans to do it again. He was going to tell Jef he could not adopt him, but when Guy met with Jef, he could not bring himself to disappoint him. Guy cared about Jef; he realized he was going to fill the parent role for him, and had to figure out a way to make it happen.
Guy started YGB’s parenting classes and the certification process. By the time he completed the process, Guy found a new job and was ready for Jef to join his family.
Even though Guy and Jef had known each other for years, becoming family was a difficult transition. They struggled at first in their new roles as father and son. They learned they had significant adjusting, compromising, and learning to do together. Yet, they never lost sight of the fact that they loved each other, and were now family, and committed to one another no matter what the circumstances. After a tumultuous couple of years, Guy and Jef found their groove and Jef was officially adopted, right after his 21st birthday. Now, they are not only father and son, but they are also great friends, spending lots of time doing fun things together.