Saturday, November 1, 2008

He calls me "Mom"

Early in Feb. Charity came to live with us. By the end of February, her older brother joined our family as well. We fully intended to be their forever family. Our whole hearts in love with them instantly. Just the same way we instantly fell in love with Blessing. The ghost's time with us was fairly short, he left our home at the end of May. It was our decision for him to leave, a decision that tore our hearts to pieces, and left us broken like never before. I cried. For months. Still do, at times.

His visit with us this weekend brought a wide range of feelings, each feeling an overwhelming rush, and each bringing with it a cycle of thought that only goes around and around and never really ends. Were we right? Were we wrong? Could we have done something different? Yet knowing it's impossible to pray harder, or to love more than I did... and still do.

He still calls me "mom". Yet, I can't be that to him. Does he still wish for that? Do I still wish for that? It was also obvious, though we enjoyed our visit with him, that we cannot be his forever family. We simply can not meet his needs as well as the needs of the rest of our children. It sounds so cruel. Saying those words is oh so painful.

His time living and then leaving us has taught me more than any other circumstance in my whole life. He taught me what I could handle. Actually, that's not true, he taught me what God's empowerment can allow me to handle. He taught me what I can't handle, a lesson that was much harder to learn. He taught me love isn't enough. He taught me that though my plan seemed much more magnificent, that God and I don't think alike. He taught me that the deepest desire, belief, and faith in healing doesn't mean it will come. He taught me that God's grace is, indeed, sufficient. That God is absolutely He who gives.... and He who takes away. He taught me that I will choose to follow with my life and say, "And if not....".

And it's most ironic that he dressed as, and is referred to in this post as "the ghost". Because his memory is much like that... I remember him with love and joy. The bike ramps and boots and dirty jeans and swinging from rafters were all things foreign. For a time, tutus and skirts and twirling girls were not the only things in my home. There was a boy. A loud boy who made me laugh, those full belly laughs, as he ran through the house in his batman pajamas, a sheet as his cape. A boy whose socks were never clean, and who left a rank smell in the van and his room and everywhere else he visited. A smell he was proud of. He was rambunctious and full of life and his smile could make my heart skip a beat. Yes, I loved being a mother to a boy. And yet his memory also brings sadness, and a pain that is haunting, allowing guilt and questions and anger to rise again. And I throw up my feelings all over my God and again, grace is sufficient.


chickadee@afamiliarpath said...

what a great post about him.

glitzen said...

I can only imagine the experiences behind this post. The depth of your compassion shines for him. I am so sorry for the sadness too.

It was good of you to let him come and visit, knowing there would be pain in memories as well.

Anonymous said...

You know,I know exactly what you mean in this one.Something I will have to go into more privately,obviously.

I'll second those ((((((((hugs))))))))))!!!

dean said...

i know... i know EXACTLY what that's all about. we've dealt with it from the side you have... making the decision that we'd given all we could give, but it just wasn't going to be enough. and we've also dealt with it from the other side... when the state or the courts decide... hard to say which hurts worse, but it hurts.

one thing we've found doing emergency receiving now, where the stays are much shorter and we realize that going in, the attachments just aren't there. i haven't cried over a single kid who's left us here yet. don't know if that's good or bad yet.

in long term care, i'd get tore up in part because often, the kids weren't going to a better place... many times they would return to the same hell hole they came to us from. but i'd also be affected just because i didn't want to let them go, even if they were going some place positive (it's hard for me to say someplace "better" because, you know, you don't like to think there's ANYPLACE better than with you :-) and when we moved from the little girls cottage to the teenage boys cottage, i thought i'd be over it... but i've cried over 17 year old guys, too. it just hurts when ANY kid you've built a relationship with and you want the best for, walks away from their best chance.

ultimately, we just come to realize that we can't force onto somebody something they don't want, whether that be security, stability, structure, discipline or even love. but we can always pray.

i appreciate you & TJ, and what you're doing to make the world a better and more hopeful place for your houseful of kids...

Annie said...

Been there, done that, missed out on the tshirt.

I so wanted to be that family that never "returned" a kid. How can people do that? I quickly found out. I've often said there are seven kids that are here that we CAN help, but not if we're spending all of our time on this.

The last boy who couldn't stay with us has been in a stable home for over three years, I know that we would have never survived those years, and he may have taken some other kids out with him.

God bless you for what you do, and leave the past in the past, I know it's easier said than done.

Green Acres said...

((hugs)), girl this post brought me to tears. Thank you so much for sharing your heart.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post, I so needed a new perspective...
Keep on keeping on, but not if its only in my own strength. A lesson hard learned but much appreciated.

suzanne said...

oh girl.

it is so good about him.

Maury said...

Oh gosh, I have been wanting to sit down and comment on this, but just don't have the time to compose my thoughts.

I can only imagine the emotions you were feeling this weekend with him. Oh, it is so heartbreaking...but what a beautiful post you wrote about him.