Finding Jerry

One day last year (2015) in the Philippine school holidays a little boy followed a group of us to the beach. It was scorching hot and he had no shoes and cut bleeding feet. Jerry was so tiny and cute I thought he must have been 4 or 5 years old. My heart melted as the other kids told me his mother was dead, his father semi-paralysed by a stroke and his siblings scattered all over the country. The home and all their belongings, including his pets had been destroyed in the typhoon. Within 7 days I had got him a birth certificate, bought him clothes, shoes and toys and put him back in school. That’s when he asked me if he could live with me. Of course I said no.

Almost two years have passed since that day and Jerry now lives with me full-time and I am investigating how to legally adopt him as his father died on August 29th, 2016.

At times I feel like I am always ‘Finding Jerry’, he loves to play hidies or run away in the market. Jerry is eight years old and we are a family of sorts and this page is where Jerry’s story will unfold.

Keep calling back as I add content.

Mel xx
October 2016

Update: Crowdfunding for Jerry

I spent 2.5 months in Australia (November 2016 to January 2017) working and raising money to adopt Jerry. Even though our crowdfunding campaign has ended I encourage you to visit the site to read more about our story. If you would like to make a donation please use the links here. Thank you for your love and support. Mel and Jerry xxx.

  • Can I open just one eye? (8/8/2016) - Yesterday afternoon four little friends of Jerry came over to play and watch Disney Movies. The toy library has a very cool little cooking set so they all insisted on ‘cooking’ for me. I had to close my eyes for what seemed like ages before ‘breakfast’ appeared magically. I really did have my eyes closed […]
  • We Can Fly Together (10/1/2016) - Jerry kicks and thrashes in his sleep, poor little thing has terrible nightmares. He always wants to sleep in the bed with me and I usually allow it for a few hours and carry him to his own bed after he’s asleep. Every morning he wakes up disappointed. “Tita Mel! Me kicking?” Last night I promised […]
  • my beautiful dream (10/3/2016) - Eight year old Jerry tells me about a marvellous dream he had the night before, though I think possibly a lot of it was made up during narration. What a joy he is.
  • Just Sand (12/24/2016) - Here I am ‘home’. And my passport, driver’s licence and cards all agree. And so I wander the lonely beaches here every day looking for new poems and pictures to discover, and hide from everything like Christmas or old friends or the fact that my heart is breaking because you are my home now and […]
  • Decisions (2/15/2016) - Arriving in the Philippines over two years ago to help out after Typhoon Yolanda, I never expected I would still be here. The amazing, crazy and tragic things that have happened over the past two years have left me drained but strangely uplifted and it’s only since Christmas that I made the solid decision to […]
  • Dogwood Original Photo Challenge (Week 7) (2/26/2017) - WEEK 7: Portrait (Faceless) Tell someone’s story without showing their face.. The Dogwood Photo Challenge The Dogwood Photo Challenge is a series of weekly assignments responding to a theme or technique. Participants are encouraged to share their work as displaying your work is an important part of growing as a photographer. Unlike most photography challenges which […]
  • Lovingly (2/7/2017) - ‘Ghosts cannot remember their sons,’ said he. ‘But mother’s cannot forget their love’ said me. © 2017 Melinda Irvine Daily Prompt: Lovingly
  • I Love You and Miss You So Much (1/12/2017) - Originally posted on My Adopted Kid:
    If you have been following any of my blogs or facebook pages you will know that for the past two months I’ve been in Australia, separated from Jerry. I’ve survived it by our daily phone calls and clinging to the countless photos and videos I took of him before…
  • the spider-man files (10/30/2016) - A cute little photo study of Jerry in his spider-man costume. I love how he takes the styrofoam wrapping off apples and uses it for spider-man masks.
  • From the Black Forest (12/5/2016) - Fundraising to adopt Jerry has really binded my family as we all search for once sacred relics to sell. This little wooden bear was handed over enthusiastically with detailed instructions for pricing (which I will strictly adhere to as this little poem illustrates). “DON’T SELL That bear,” shouts mum. “blah blah blah thE BLACK FOREST BLAH to cheap […]
  • Bad Me (3/3/2016) - bad me’ i heard his little voice say ‘bad me’ small head turned into the pillow ‘bad me’ i had scolded him for breaking a yellow colouring pencil he stomped it into two pieces discarded for garbage i found it in the dirt covered by grass nga (why)? i had asked him in the tricycle […]
  • Somebody Clean that Fan (1/27/2017) - inside simple space we find creative moments family type stuff © 2017 Melinda Irvine Daily Prompt: Simple
  • Jerry comes home (11/28/2015) - I promised myself not to leave him; to believe I’d find him again © 2015 Melinda Irvine Click here to learn more about helping me adopt Jerry.
  • Out the Window of the Bus (9/24/2016) - is our saturday morning. Our funny little family strengthens. © 2016 mel irvine
  • Dinagyang Festival (2/13/2016) - fiesta maidens; rainforest warriors; and two little princes © 2016 Melinda Irvine
  • Jerry opens Faunaverse (10/18/2016) - Faunaverse is a marvellous book of poetry appealing to both kids and adults. Fun educational and inspiring, Faunaverse was written by two passionate and talented environmental activists (and also my friends): Alexander Dudley and Jane Sullivan.
  • Crowdfunding for Jerry (12/5/2016) - Filipino boy Jerry is only 8 and the bravest kid I know. His mother died tragically at Christmas time when he was only four years old and his father died in August this year. Help me adopt Jerry and bring him to Australia.
  • Someday (1/13/2017) - We will watch the sunset painting names in bright colours (like a family). © 2017 Melinda Irvine Daily Prompt: Someday
  • Epic Journeys and Families Meant to Be (12/26/2016) - Originally posted on Pearlz Dreaming:
    Image courtesy of Mel Irvine My friend Mel is on an epic journey to become a full time mum who is able to live in the country she chooses with her currently, foster, but hopefully to one day be adopted son. This journey actually began as a reaching out to…
  • Jerry! Diin sa iPhone? (6/18/2015) - When a curious little boy get's your iPhone, without you realising there's suddenly more than 600 photos. Delighted at what I found here.
  • Bad Kid: a kid who has had bad things happen (9/27/2016) - Originally posted on My Adopted Kid:
    Jerry started crying on the way to school in the tricycle this morning. I hugged him. I sat outside his classroom for a while and saw him through the window smiling and happy with his classmates. I looked again a few moments later and two little girls had their…
  • A Weekend of Rest (1/20/2017) - a weekend of rest, (I’m still blogging though for fun) back in his country reunited us wandering the festive streets remembering us in bright streets transformed the Dinagyang aesthetic a weekend of rest © 2017 Melinda Irvine Daily Prompt: Aesthetic and Overworked
  • Parenting a child who has experienced abuse or neglect (9/26/2016) - Originally posted on My Adopted Kid:
    About two weeks ago I was googling ‘inappropriate affection in children’  (or similar) and I found a document called Parenting a Child Who Has Experienced Abuse or Neglect. Reading through this sixteen (16) page dcoument was a great awakening for me. First it confirmed the depth of the trauma…
  • zebras and giraffes (9/24/2016) - Our Saturday morning sleep in and do not much and Jerry decided to put all his animals in hospital and colour in the stripes on his zebra. Totally cute. Hope this brings you a smile as I document his English progress. © 2016 Melinda Irvine
  • Marathon of Waiting (1/17/2017) - Two months all done. Ready to fly home to you. Brave little boy waits. © 2017 Melinda Irvine Daily Prompt: Marathon
  • another clueless #ParentFail (reading Faunaverse) (10/21/2016) - Wednesday night, reading Jerry’s bedtime story I decided to video the experience for my friends Alexander Dudley and Jane Sullivan who had sent me a copy of their newly published book Faunaverse. Faunaverse is a wonderful book of poetry about Australian wildlife, insects and birds. Jerry really loves it. Though I think I’m gonna read […]
  • Tita Mel! I’m a cowboy (5/3/2016) - Jerry told me on Saturday afternoon he was a cowboy and could he please borrow my cream/daisy coloured lace sunhat as cowboys wear hats. He disappeared outside and about 10 minutes later I found him lassoing the chair with two skipping ropes he had tied together. This video just cracks me and I hope it […]
  • Jerry’s Nutrition Day (7/28/2016) - July is Nutrition Month in the Philippines and Jerry’s school had a special family event to educate kids (and parents) on the long-term health benefits of diet and exercise. I’m blogging it because it is the first thing I have attended really as Jerry’s ‘parent’ and I shortened my trip in Australia so I could go. […]
  • arrival of the WIFI (10/7/2016) - Having dedicated WIFI in the house for the past 48 hours has been … well … like a million continuous yays. I can only really describe that incredible feeling when the technician handed me finalising paperwork and that first little WIFI symbol lit up and an app started downloading. That feeling was like a huge […]
  • The Grade 1 (Squid) Christmas Party (12/17/2015) - My first official parenting duty: attend the Grade 1 (squid) christmas party. Not sure if my favourite part was the brawl or when they managed to pull down the entire candy frame. Definitely loved taking back the video two weeks later and playing it for the classroom on my laptop. © 2015 Melinda Irvine
  • The Successful Delivery of Magic Fish Dreaming to the Philippines (1/23/2017) - Arriving back in Estancia after more than two months in Australia and one of my first visits was to the family of Jerry’s best friend. I had a small bag of gifts from Australia including a Koala plushie and the wonderful Magic Fish Dreaming. June Perkins, my friend and author of Magic Fish Dreaming arranged […]
  • Late afternoon ladies (2/18/2016) - Child’s birthday party: cake, games, spaghetti. Later, ladies find red wine. © 2016 Melinda Irvine
  • The Arrival of Magic Fish Dreaming (12/22/2016) - The Christmas mail to my parent’s house brought a wonderful surprise today, the much anticipated book (and some extra surprises) by my dear friend June Perkins, Magic Fish Dreaming. If you have been following my blog you will know that I’m currently home in Australia working and raising money to legally adopt my little boy Jerry, […]
  • Birthdays Pinoy Style (1/29/2017) - Having a birthday? “spaghetti”, “hot dogs” and tang it’s more fun here. © 2017 Melinda Irvine Daily Prompt: Automatic #itsmorefuninthephilippines Cooking my first Filipino styled spaghetti tomorrow for Jerry’s birthday treat. Ask a Filipino kid what they want to eat for their birthday and you can almost guarantee the automatic response will be “spaghetti”. And […]
  • Frame of a Little Boy (9/1/2016) - delighted little boy frames happiness wanting to sleep in those gloves © 2016 Melinda Irvine
  • Exposure (1/21/2017) - Dark, drumming, music. Street, colour, city, light. Boy, noise, fiesta, night. © 2017 Melinda Irvine Daily Prompt: Exposure
  • The Greatest Place in the World (1/24/2017) - The greatest place in the world is always wherever I am standing, and right now that place is Barangay Botongon, Estancia (Philippines). I arrived back from Australia to Estancia last Thursday night and even though it can be such a challenge living here, the kids keep me coming back. Jerry is celebrating his birthday next Monday so […]
  • A Birthday Begins (1/30/2017) - Jerry’s birthday starts with a big yellow sun: then spaghetti, cake, friends. © 2017 Melinda Irvine Daily Prompt: Yellow PS: And even though his favourite colour is red, I loved how he chose his yellow birthday cake (because it had red flowers).  Ahhhh I do recall Bilbo Baggins being extremely fond of flowers: my heart […]
  • Written in Sand (8/14/2016) - little boy writes my name in the sand (near his) then smiles my face. love you 🙂 © 2016 Melinda Irvine
  • Tuition and employment (2/19/2016) - Yesterday some of the dreams and visions for my life here in the Philippines manifested into reality: tuition for street kids and employment for families battling poverty. For the last two years I have been helping Shelia Gedalanga and her two kids recover from the loss of their home and livelihood following Typhoon Yolanda. Last […]
  • Decisions and Choices (12/6/2016) - My driver’s licence expired back in October, but I only realised yesterday. According to my Australian driver’s licence I am a resident of the state of Queensland, but I’m currently staying in the state of NSW with my parents, but in truth I live in the Philippines. Confused? Having no driver’s licence mean I must […]
  • Finding Jerry (12/16/2015) - I met Jerry on a hot, dirty roadside. He had cut feet and no shoes. He was crying. It was a long time before he trusted me enough to climb on my back so he didn’t have to walk on the hot hot road. Jerry is seven. Jerry swims like a little fish and climbs to […]
  • My Proudest Parenting Moment (10/31/2016) - We were walking in the market yesterday, when a lady for no apparent reason, gave Jerry three pieces of native fruit. He received them shyly and then set to work on the eating. After we got home he said to me … “Tita Mel, that lady give me fruit.” I nodded in agreement. “Tita Mel,” […]
  • Family Bonding Day (10/28/2016) - “Can we come here everyday?” said his little voice. and it wasn’t that he wanted to pray or burn white candles under tall Mary each day. His little heart filled with the floating view of the valley his small hands full of tiny black dragonflies shouts “YOU NO WORKING TODAY TITA MEL” even at eight […]