Wednesday, December 18, 2013

At the end

You know the saying, "Separation makes the heart grow fonder"?  Well in our case, it is true.  I think....

The boys have been on holiday since the end of November and we are driving each other crazy.  


The honeymoon period of having me back is definitely over.   We have moved on to real life and it is hard.  Like the most difficult thing I have ever had to do  hard.  In my fairy tale world, I somehow magically expected 23 hurting, broken boys to fit into my perfect little children box that I had created for them.  Memo to me, its never going to happen.  And so, last week I got a rude wake up call.  It was particularly difficult.  Everything we could think to fight about, we did.  It left us all frustrated and feeling like we were failures as a parent.  (Ok, maybe that is just me.) But nonetheless, we are all frustrated.

Living with hurting people, is really difficult.  This past week, I realized why no one wants to deal with the older boys.  Before last week, I only knew it in theory.  But the ridiculousness that I had to deal with made me want to run for the hills or the US or actually anywhere that wasn't home.  I was at a place where I just couldn't take one more temper tantrum, one more person ignoring me or one more disagreement.  I was at the end.

Thankfully, right when I was about to snap, I saw what was important.  God gave me 2 really good days and the break from the chaos was so needed and welcome.  Four boys that I had been fighting with all weekend over a majorly bad choice of theirs, finally calmed down and we were able to have a real conversation and come to an understanding about their consequences and why I was so hard on them.  They saw I wasn't being unfair and biased and they even apologized, which they swore to me they weren't going to do.  When I asked them why they had changed their minds about apologizing and talking to me again, they responded "Because we missed you.  We didn't want to be away from you any longer."

Thank you Jesus.  I needed that.

On Monday, one of the boys that I first started with had a birthday.  He turned 16.  We had a birthday party for him and as everyone told him why they loved him (part of our parties is to appreciate the birthday boy and tell him things we like/love about him.) the smile on his face made my week.  We almost didn't make it.  He almost didn't make it.  Over the last 3 years, I almost lost him many times.  I was the only one that believed in him and had to beg people not to give up on him and to give him another chance.  Everyone told me he wouldn't change, and there was even a time when I believed the same thing.  But I loved him enough that I kept trying.  I have cried more tears over him, than any other.  And to finally celebrate a birthday with him, was the best gift I could get this holiday season.  When we cut the cake, he asked me to cut it with him. Seems simple, but its a huge honor.  Afterwards, I wanted to talk to him to tell him how proud I was of him and how much I loved him.  I told him I was so happy he stayed in the house because I knew that it wasn't easy.  I told him I was so proud of the boy he was becoming and that I knew that he had a great future ahead of him.  I told him I loved him so much and I was happy he was in my life.  Being a 16 year old boy, I figured he would hate all of the gushy, mushy stuff and be like whatever but instead, he said that he liked hearing it and I should tell him more often because it made him feel better.

Thank you Jesus.  I needed that.

It has happened time and time again.  Just when I think my heart cannot take anymore, there is a break and the boys are angels.  Just when I think the money is going to be over, it is there.  I know God is in control of this whole journey, and I am so grateful He is because I know that I cannot do it on my own.  

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