Monday, January 07, 2013

Growing up in an Institution

I haven't written much about him. He's an 11-year old boy that our family has spent significant time with over the last two years.

He has grown up in an orphanage here. His heart has been broken and the pieces that have been attempted to be put back together have left deep fissures of pain. Cookies at Christmas and afternoons at the zoo no longer bring the simple joy a child is supposed to walk in. People have extended their lives to include him, but his heart never seems to understand that word. His body is included. His needs are met. His soul is still being suffocated by abandonment.

He has choked, spat, and uttered hatred.

He has peeled back from embraces.

He has taken the word 'love' that his ears hear and translated it into 'hate'. That word, 'love', has been addressed towards him in a number of relationships. But when your mind is hearing, 'hate,' there begins the formulation of an entire army of people for you to fight against.

He is getting bigger now. Hormones, muscles, a stronger will. All of these things are beginning to partner with anger, fear, and abandonment to create a boy who can be scary to love. As a family, it is hard to know how to love someone like that. It feels like you are walking up to a boulder and trying to love it into sand. No amount of affection is going to deconstruct nature like that. Only the One who created him has the ability to change someone like that.

This little boy has spent many nights in our home. He has spent hours upon hours playing dominoes and riding bikes with my children. We haven't seen him in a couple of weeks and now wisdom is telling me that the space in between visits might need to grow longer.

I grieve over this.

I hate this.

But I also have an 11-year old daughter to protect. I have young boys whose lives become forever changed if this other boy decides to press his anger onto them in some way.

This is where I need a memo from the Lord. Some type of formula that tells me when we are supposed to sacrifice of ourselves for the sake of others and when we are supposed to retreat, allowing this fragile boy to fight his own battles.

We can love him, but we can't change him. That type of defeat leads me to trust only on the Lord for this boy's repentance. I don't like using the words, "It's too late," when referring to adoption and foster care. I have found my mind browsing around in that type of vocabulary with this little boy.

Pray for him.
Pray that the people around him would wisely understand his needs.
Pray that Jesus would pursue him relentlessly.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...