Thirteen and a half years ago we met a malnourished, cute-as-a-button, sickly black haired boy at my mother and father’s house. He was my new foster brother and his name was Christopher. A few months later my parents moved in with us with a much healthier, happier Christopher and he went from being my brother to being my son.
About eighteen months later he was moved into a ‘permanent’ home and seven months after that returned to our home and has been here ever since. The journey hasn’t always been easy but I think it will be worth it in the end.
My Christopher was chosen for me by God to teach me some things about myself I never knew. He was chosen for our family to teach us skills and lessons that we would not have learned any other way. And somehow or other God decided we were the perfect place for this abandoned, angry little boy to grow up.
In his fourteen years of life the experts have stuck a lot of labels on him and he has managed to defy many of them. Our prayer is that he wipes them all out and proves everyone wrong. Already he has gone above the average age of children ‘like’ him. Our social worker told us that most kids with his labels are already in detention centers, have records and their situations have fallen apart. We are two years past those odds.
We are praying that we can work out a way to adopt him officially. The status we have now is as close as you can get. We’ve changed his name to help him feel more a part of the family. At fourteen identity is pretty crucial and he is struggling for all he’s worth with that right now. We pray we all survive the struggle even if our windows don’t!
Sometimes it’s hard to believe that a person can love someone that was not born of them. But I love my husband, I love my in-laws and I have a few precious friends that I certainly wouldn’t want to be without. And my God gave us the example…He adopted me. He set His seal on me and said I was his, just like we put our name on this boy and said he is ours.
Tonite we had ribs and oven-roast potatoes and we sang loudly and ate chocolate cake. Later on we’ll go to the drive-in and watch The Amazing Spiderman and hopefully I’ll stay awake long enough to drive home and every day I will try to remind myself that this wonderfully complex, difficult, generous, angry little soul is a gift to me. He shows me my own anger, he shows me how poorly I deal with disappointment, he shows me that I am not so very different from him even though no one has stuck any labels on m. I’ve just got a little more self-control, but some days I feel like throwing things and swearing when I’m frustrated and tired and hurting, too. So I can’t be too harsh with him and I can’t be too harsh with me, because we, two, mother and son, are more alike some days than those born of my flesh.
I am so thankful today for this chosen one, who is causing me to chase grace and thankfulness. Thankful for he who causes me to be more mindful of my words and my temper. Thankful that I get to be his mom and hopefully one day get to see him embrace all that he has the potential to be!