Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The second call

We got a phone call this week that I think I can honestly say we were not hoping to get...the call that "B", the Kindergarten boy that we hosted from October to December of last year, needed a place to stay again.  We were not hoping for this call for several reasons:

We were hoping that his parent situation was working out well, he was safe, happy, loved, enrolled in school...everything we hope for all of our kids!

He was a challenging placement.  By the end of our time together, he knew just how to push our buttons, and I'm sad to say it was many of those times that came to mind first when our case coach called. 

This is a busy time of year- the last few weeks of school are upon us, we are getting ready to head out on a big summer road trip.  We thought that we might take one more child for just a week or two before we left.  Maybe even a squishy little baby- squeee!  Long placements take a lot more logistics and commitment than short ones- especially when the child is old enough to attend school. 

Our children, of course, set a much better example of Christ-like hospitality.  When we told them that "B" needed a place to stay for a few weeks, they jumped up and down with excitement and told us how much they had missed him, and could he come to the birthday party this weekend, and can he play t-ball too, and can we have popcorn and watch a movie when he gets here and this and that and the other thing they couldn't wait to do.  

So we said that we would take him, because convenient or not, we consider him part of the family and OF COURSE he will always have a home with us when he needs it.  And can I just say HOW GLAD WE ARE that we said yes!!

He is doing GREAT- in the past few months he has been living with his Dad and they have been working really hard to get on the right track.  He has grown an inch, lost some teeth, gained some serious arm muscles, and most excitingly, LEARNED TO READ.  READ!  

His first night back with us, he and I snuggled up and he read to me for over an hour.  Just that one hour alone was worth everything we've been through with "B." It was good...like top 20 moments of my life type good.  He has gone from not knowing a single letter in October to READING in May.  Clearly he is a bright, bright boy who just needed to be pointed in the right direction.  As I type this, he is sitting at the table, going through his sight word cards by himself over and over, occasionally asking me a word or two.

What a blessing that we got a second chance with "B."  A chance to push back all the bad memories of our time together and remember the good ones- trick or treating with him dressed like a firefighter, a trip to the apple orchard, Thanksgiving, watching him play a shepherd in the Christmas Pageant.  He is done with his homework now, and heading out to ride bikes with Lego.  They four kids have been so happy to see each other again.  He has really slid right back into our family with ease.  Sure, he's the same old "B," but I am seeing him with a new perspective.  I know he won't be here forever.  I know I will miss him when he's gone.  I know I will worry about him and wonder about him.  And now I know that all the little things DO matter- his time with us changed his trajectory, even if only by a few degrees.

And even if he has us pulling out our hair again for the next few weeks (because undoubtedly it will happen), it is all worth it to see him thriving.  It is such a blessing.  And who knows...we may just get to play a part in his life for a bit longer, even after he returns to his Dad.  Funny how these things work out!

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