By ERIN O'BRIEN "As a kid I was not allowed to have a pet. I think I went overboard."e; Lidia said thoughtfully. Over the years Lidia and Scott Goodinson and their four children had a menagerie of house pets in their Norwood home. "e;We had everything but
“As a kid I was not allowed to have a pet. I think I went overboard…” Lidia said thoughtfully. Over the years Lidia and Scott Goodinson and their four children had a menagerie of house pets in their Norwood home. “We had everything but snakes!” explained Lidia, from dogs to mice to gerbils to hamsters, and even an aquarium of goldfish.
When Lidia and Scott found themselves with an empty nest, Lidia decided it was time for her own pet, a small bird, she decided, something that would match her lifestyle. Her husband Scott suggested a $25 canary, but Lidia had her sights set on a $125 cockatiel.
“I didn’t know how to buy a bird,” she admitted.
She learned from Renee at Jungle Junction in Cumberland, cockatiels were hand-fed. “You don’t pick the bird; the bird picks you!” Renee informed her, and directed Lidia to sit on the couch.
When Renee brought the White Faced Cockatiel out for an introduction, the little creature flew to Lidia instantly. The silvery gray bird put her head down to be scratched, and rubbed her cheek against Lidia’s. “I fell in love with her right then!” Lidia decided on the obvious choice for a name: Joy.
Lidia’s little bundle of joy was hatched April 12, 2016 and adopted on November 9th of that year.
“I bought the cage and all the ‘fixin’s.” The veterinarian suggested clipping her wings until the bird was familiar with her way around the house, so she would not get injured. But Lidia felt strongly that a bird should not be caged, and its wing should not be clipped to prevent it from flying.
Unsure of the bird’s gender, Joy appeared to be female, based on the fact that males of the breed are more talkative. The new pet earned her name bringing joy to the Goodinson household, and settling into a comfortable routine. “Each morning Joy loops around the house,” Lidia says. After her morning exercise Joy returns for breakfast. “At 8:00 p.m. each night, Joy knows it’s bedtime and goes in her cage.”
On Labor Day Lidia was rushing around looking for her shoes to shake the sand out of them from her expedition to the beach. Joy flew into the living room and landed on Lidia’s shoulder. “I hesitated a moment,” Lidia recalls, “because I did not want to hurt her by closing the door. She was too quick.” She flew out the open door and headed north.
“I froze in a panic.”
“The entire day, Tuesday, I cried until I told myself, ‘You must get a grip!’” Lidia sprang into action.
On various pet sites online, Lidia posted Joy’s photo with her information. She printed 175 fliers and delivered them all over the neighborhood on her bicycle. “I was everywhere on my bike, whistling and calling Joy.”
Children on bikes would approach her and ask if she had found her bird yet.
Lidia did a lot of talking to God on her bike as well. She told Him she decided she was going to clean the cage so when Joy got home it would be clean for her. She and Scott put Joy’s cage outside with the door open, knowing that cockatiels have a two to five mile radius, and they waited.
The next night, at Praise Tabernacle in Cranston, Lidia waited until she was alone in church after the Wednesday night service. “God,” she began, “I know that you’re going to send me to my bird or you’ll send her to me.” Reflecting on God‘s faithfulness, she made a solemn promise although she hates public speaking. She made a solemn vow to give a testimony to the congregation.
Meanwhile, in Dudley, Massachusetts, Joni and Mitch Cousineau were searching for Kiki, a two-year-old cockatiel who went missing the same week as Joy. “We never clipped Kiki’s wings, and when Mitch was taking out the trash one night, out he went!”
One day a neighbor ‘tagged’ Joni on social media to ask if a particular photo was of her bird. It was missing the vibrant orange marking on its cheek, so Joni was doubtful. “Let’s just drive up,” Mitch suggested.
Three miles away, “a gentleman had discovered a bird in his yard, but it was not a wild bird. He wasn’t a bird guy, and he was afraid he’d scare it. So he posted its picture on one of the websites for lost animals,” Joni said.
Joni arrived armed with a carrier, bird food, water, and a blanket. The bird was resting on a wrought iron fence, poolside, when she and Mitch arrived. Mitch coaxed the bird until it finally hopped onto his finger. It took two attempts but Joni was able to gently wrap the bird in the towel and place it in the carrier. “The little bird was hungry!” and as she observed, “no doubt a tame bird.”
“It was a sweet little bird, sweeter than Kiki,” she admitted. But it wasn’t Kiki.
Joni had seen Lidia’s posts during her own search for Kiki. She posted a photo of Joy online. “But all the way from Warwick, Rhode Island?” she wondered.
“Mom! It’s Joy!” her son called from the computer. “It can’t be...” she said aloud as she read the post from Dudley, Massachusetts. Lidia contacted the woman by email. She dared to say aloud, “I think that could be my bird.“ She asked Joni to check for a little white spot under the crest on Joy’s head. It was there. Lidia burst into tears.
Lidia offered to give Joni the number on the band around Joy’s leg as proof. The band was four years old and some of the numbers were illegible. “But I felt such a good connection with Lidia, I just invited her up,” Joni said, surprising herself. “You just don’t do that in this day and age.”
“Even if it was not my bird, you’ve done something good,” Lidia assured her.
When Lidia called Scott with the news he said, “I’m leaving work!” before quickly adding, “You’re not going alone.”
“I’m a realist,” he says. “I was the Doubting Thomas. My wife cried every night. She was in mourning, but honestly, she was focused on her faith.”
They soon headed out on the 43-mile journey to Dudley. “There are so many trees,” Scott noticed, wondering which one Joy might have spent the night in, “and birds of prey. GPS took us the scenic route!” Travel time was an hour and 15 minutes by car.
“The instant Joy heard Lidia’s voice, she let out a chirp like she hadn’t chirped the whole time. It was a very heartwarming reunion,” as Joni describes it.
A framed bird print hangs on the wall in Mitch and Joni’s home. Scott marveled at the palatial birdcage Joy must have enjoyed, while Joni shared they bought some more toys for her. And Joy had literally eaten out of their hands.
Joy flew to Lidia and landed on her shoulder, as she swept up a little bird in her hands and held her closely. “I have so many questions for her!”
That Sunday, the pastor at Faith Tabernacle spoke of how God uses others as instruments, adding, “even birds,” with a wink to Lidia.
And Lidia kept her promise.
Joy found her way into two homes.