Friday, January 8, 2016

True Tales From Orphan Hosting

One of the things that I never expected about orphan hosting is that it would be hard for me to keep a 9-year-old boy entertained. We are, after all, a house with two rambunctious boys (and one active girl) and there is no shortage of games, toys, books and outdoor things here.

But it’s been a little harder to keep Mr. S occupied than I had imagined. A lot of (much-needed) rain has played a part in that.

He’s gone to handfuls of medical appointments with us (either as the patient or accompanying us). He’s waited beautifully during those, either doing the activities I’ve brought or finding something in the waiting room to amuse himself with. (Even the medical staff has commented on what a great job he’s done.)

At home, however, he tends to roam a bit looking for something to do. This was true during Christmas break when the kids were home all day and is more pronounced now that school has started again.

Yesterday, he rode his bike around in the wet backyard for a bit. But then came back into the house looking bored.
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I took him for a little treat. Mr. S. picked plain yogurt and added fresh strawberries and M&M as his toppings. He seemed pretty pleased with his creation.

Then, we went and did a school pick-up and, suddenly, there was plenty to do. (T has never been at a loss for something to do, that’s probably because he’s often doing things that he’s not supposed to, but still!)
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I asked Matt if we would host again. He thought about it for a minute and then said “yes,” so long as it was only once a year. Good grief, he thought I wanted to do it more often! He did say that he thought it would need to be an older child again. I agree, for a number of reasons. One reason in particular is that so many achingly wonderful older children, boys especially, are waiting for homes.

Has there been more laundry, more trips to the grocery store (3 growing boys!), more need for patience and less sleep – yes, yes, yes and yes. But have there also been lessons you’ll never learn from sitting in a pew for a month of Sundays? Absolutely.

If you want to get onto the frontlines of compassion and empathy and grace, this is how you do it. It has not been a one-way street, so often, we have been the recipient and not the giver of these things.
Mr. S hasn’t just changed our lives. He’s touched the lives of my parents, doctors, neighbors, friends, etc… All of us have had the opportunity to grow and stretch and change – all thanks to the remarkable story of one little 9-year-old boy.

If he’s done this much in three weeks, can you imagine how much he’d touch a life forever?

**To learn more about Mr S, please contact Meredith at meredith@gwca.org.**

2 comments:

  1. This reminds me a lot of foster care. There's a restless, uncomfortable feeling in the air all the time. The more I try to "fix it" with activities and business the more exhausted I get! I realize now that I am afraid of that restlessness because deep down I know it's just a mask for the real emotions. Sometimes you just have to let it hang...let that feeling go where it needs to go.

    Hard to do.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This reminds me a lot of foster care. There's a restless, uncomfortable feeling in the air all the time. The more I try to "fix it" with activities and business the more exhausted I get! I realize now that I am afraid of that restlessness because deep down I know it's just a mask for the real emotions. Sometimes you just have to let it hang...let that feeling go where it needs to go.

    Hard to do.

    ReplyDelete