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I Thought

When we decided to host an orphan, I thought it would be challenging.  I hoped we could bless him.  To be honest, I hoped we too would be blessed.  But, I had no idea…

He didn’t have a “honeymoon” period of behavior, so I panicked.  I worried about the coming weeks.  I worried about things that had not yet come to pass and put fears into my own mind. I thought it might be a struggle to make it through the four weeks with all of the candy and treats stashed away, sneaking sips of soda only when he was in bed, taking turns going to the store (because it was too much for a boy who has had nothing and has chosen nothing of his own), etc.  But, I had no idea..

Christmas was such a blessing and I started to realize I needed to focus on the here and now.  Then, he had a night in which I saw God’s hand on him.  He listened to Bible stories in his native language.  The same night, E drew him a picture and he not only accepted it – he drew one back.  I thought it might not be such a long four weeks at all.  But, I had no idea…

We bonded.  He grew.  He learned what family is, learned self-control, learned to care about the feelings of others, learned that we have expectations and rules because we care, learned that it was safe to care about us.  He learned about love.  I found out that there were blessings in not being able to go to the store so much and comfort in sticking close to home.  Still, I thought that I would be sad to watch him go.  I thought that four weeks might actually start to seem too short, but I thought I would also appreciate the return of comfort and easiness to daily life.  But, again, I had no idea…

I watched him walk away.  Tears in his eyes.  Trying to be brave.  I watched him struggle to shift his backpack from his hands to his shoulders.  I saw him drop his passport.  And it hit me.  Not only did he need a forever mama to take care of him in that moment…he needed it always.  I thought the sadness would be for myself.

I had no idea that I couldn’t enjoy any freedoms I regained because my heart was hurting for him.  I had no idea that I would not longer want to be the same – that I would cling to the parts of him left behind because those were the parts that made me less selfish and more open to love and to life.  Until he has the forever family he deserves, my heart cannot rest and I cannot take comfort in daily life.  I thought we would be changed and I thought we might change his future.  

I just had no idea how much.

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