Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Update on our neighbor

Sorry to leave you all hanging. Thanks for your prayers. I think everything is okay. He stayed at our house that night and has been home with his dad ever since. I think knowing that he always has our house as a safe place down the street helps him to feel more secure and confident. I don’t think he’s in any real danger; he just has a dad who doesn’t know how to love him very well. His dad never had a father to show him how to be a dad. I also think that his dad is doing a little better knowing that we love them and are supporting them. He was at the point where he didn’t know what else to do with the kid and they both needed a break. I think he’s been able to take a breath and is therefore more ready for continue with the tough parenting challenges he’s facing.

The biggest thing for me now is having spiritual discernment to know how to respond to the kid. Several times I’ve responded in an appropriate way with my parenting skills and instincts, but what he really needed emotionally and psychologically was something different, which I didn’t understand in the moment. I have an amazingly insightful and wise neighbor who understands a lot just by observing him and has given me some really good insight and tips. There are several people I work with at CDC who have been praying for us and have given me some very wise counsel on how to approach relationships with children and parents in the neighborhood and how to approach difficult family situations. I’ve also been reading several blogs of adoptive families since friends of ours adopted their kids in Ukraine, and these have given me a different perspective on a number of relevant parenting issues and helped me understand some things about where this child is coming from.

As difficult as this can be sometimes, I’m really glad to be here: to be available to love on people, to walk alongside them, to suffer and rejoice with them, to feed them and to teach them. I know full well that I’m just scratching the surface; This family situation is nothing compared to what many of the young people in our neighborhood are facing. But I want my heart to break with the things that break the heart of God and I want to be a part of his work to make people whole, to bring healing, peace and justice to this community, and to help lift the burdens of poverty and injustice.


Jungle Mom said...

Thank God for people like you being willing to stand in the gap.

Mark and Courtney said...

I'm so glad you're able to interact with this family in this way. It's true that different parenting tactics are required when kids have different backgrounds, especially if there are issues of neglect or abuse.