Dr James Wittig with adopted son Ronnie
Metaphysically, I’m a fan of synchronicities. I like this perspective – “The universe listens,” Wittig said, and gives you what you need. “Have you heard of synchronicities?” he asked. “It’s God’s way of giving you what you want.” James Wittig notes that “Years ago, I was engaged to be married, and we used to joke about having kids and we’d say: ‘Wouldn’t it be great if we have a child, send him away and then get him back when he’s 13, after the hard years?’ Then funny enough, a 13-year-old boy falls into my lap.”
Today’s blog is from a story in LINK>USA Today originally published on a North Jersey website. The story doesn’t tell us whether Ronnie wanted to be adopted but given the circumstances, I really don’t have a problem with this. The story does say that “When asked, Ronnie, now 20, said he did not want to be interviewed. He’s not comfortable talking about his story, but his father said following his graduation from Seton Hall Preparatory School last year, Ronnie enrolled in a welding program at a technical school. He fell in love with welding during a summer program shortly after he moved in with Wittig. He recently used his welding skills to make a firepit that now sits in their backyard.”
The connection between the doctor and the boy runs from the doctor’s work in his profession. About 20 years ago, when orthopedic surgeon James Wittig was a resident in training, his mentor gave him a photo of two young girls he had treated for bone cancer during the 1980s. The photo was meant to be a reminder to the young doctor of the importance of their life-saving work. Wittig had no way of knowing then that the 14-year-old girl in that photo would forever change his life. The other girl in the photo was 10 years old at the time. 15 years later, now in her 30s, this younger girl developed an infection in her leg and became Wittig’s patient. The doctor and patient kept in touch following treatment via Facebook.
The two girls remained friends long after they posed for that photo. Their close age and shared illness had created a strong bond. The older girl grew up, married and had two sons. She had to undergo more surgeries and eventually, her husband and the woman divorced. He moved to Colorado where he died a few years later. She remarried but died (due to complications of her cancer) only a month later. Her boys were just 11 and 7 years old. They went to live with their grandparents, but they also unfortunately died of cancer a year later. This sent them back to live with their stepfather. He fostered them, but did not have the resources to care for them properly. The younger of the two girls (now mature), took temporary custody of the two boys, now 17 and 13. The older boy already planned to join the military on his 18th birthday.
Thanks to a request for help by this woman on Facebook, where she was already remained in contact with her doctor, the younger boy found a home and a man gained a son, already 13, as he has fancifully mused about many years earlier. The adjustment was not easy for either of them. Understandably, the boy struggled with the death of his mother. He had not had a strong person in his life who he really trusted for a long time. Eventually trust came but it was slow.