Sunday, January 26, 2014

What if you were never hugged?

Sometimes we are all moving along and everything is great and I think we are all on the same page and then, a semi hits me.

I forget things that I grew up knowing without having to think about them.  I forget that even though others may think I had an unfair childhood, it was actually pretty easy and I can’t really say that I suffered.  I forget that compared to these kids, I can’t say that I suffered at all.  I forget that I was loved as a child and someone sacrificed everything for me, but no one has done that for these kids.  I forget that I grew up with unconditional love but for these boys, it is a very foreign concept.

Last Monday morning started off in such a good way.  Everyone was happy, in a good mood, getting chores done.  There were no problems.  The day before, I went to a different church than normal.  Usually, I go to church in the city and many boys come along.  Afterwards, we go to the grocery store and get a snack, usually really delicious cake.  When I went to the local church, and cake wasn't an option, some boys didn't come with me so I teased them that they only went to church for the cake.  That changed their mind and they ran after me to church.  On Monday, one of the boys came into my room.  He talks so much and is so wise.  He is one of the boys that is closest to me and always wants to be with me.  He told me that it was crazy of me to think that the only reason that the boys came to church with me is cake.  He said that would mean that the only reason that boys stay at home is because I feed them.  So I teased him and said we should do an experiment and I will stop buying food and we will see who stays around.  He laughed and told me no matter what happens, whether there is food or not, nothing could make him leave me or the home.

If there is an author writing this story of mine, that would be called foreshadowing…

By the end of Monday, he was gone and my heart ripped out.

I didn't believe he had really left and I didn't believe that he would be gone for any amount of time.  Unfortunately, Tuesday passed and he didn't come home.  Wednesday, it was setting in that maybe he was serious.  I was in Kivulu looking for another boy and decided to go and find him.  As I was walking down to where I thought he would be, he was on the path walking towards me. 

We talked and talked and talked.  Nothing I said, changed his mind.  Finally, when I started to cry, he just walked away.  So I left and went home.  A few hours later, a boy said he had a visitor that wanted to see me.  My heart screamed with joy.  I knew God had answered my prayers.    I saw his foot and almost screamed.

I was sure he was home, until he opened his mouth.  The first words were, “I’m not staying.  I just forgot something.”  Again we talked and talked.  The more we talked, the more I lost hope that he would ever be home with me again and I wondered how I could live knowing he was suffering.  With every word he said, my heart broke more.  Finally, I lost it and began sobbing and he walked away again, only to never come back. 

Or so I thought…

He did come back on Thursday, but I was out of town and didn't see him until Friday.  When I got home and we finally talked, he told me the problem was he promised me too much and he wanted to make sure he was in the right place with the right people to make those promises.  He basically didn't believe I loved him enough to be worthy of such a promise of never leaving me.

So he needed to test me and my love for him.

He told me that many people had said that they loved him so much, but they would have never done for him what I did.  He really thought, I would let him go and that would be that.  I wouldn't care.  I wouldn't miss him.  I wouldn't be sad.

But I went to find him.  I cried for him, not once but twice. He said no one but his mother had ever cried for him.

I told him I was sorry that so many people in his life have hurt him and disappointed him that he couldn't believe me when I said I loved him more than anything.  I told him that I was sorry he could trust my love.We talked for a long time, about so many things.  I hope now he knows how much I love him and when I say I will do anything for him, I hope he knows I mean it.

I forgot that these kids don’t know what it is to love and be loved.

As if I needed another reminder of it, another boy came to talk to me last night.  He hates being hugged.  I’m not really even sure he likes to be touched at all.  It is a rare day, when he will come out of nowhere to touch me on my shoulder or hug me.  He just isn't affectionate.  We were talking about many things last night, mostly school and his future, and I think he also doesn't trust enough in my love for him.  He thinks there is going to come a day, when he leaves and that is it.  He kept telling me that things change and he needs to be prepared.  He doesn't believe I will always be there for him because no one ever has.  Even though, time and time again, I have fought for him and stood with him even when it brought serious consequences, he thinks there will come a time when I will leave him.  I reassured him and promised him, but maybe it isn't going to be enough.  We are just going to have to make it through all of our days with all of these boys and then they will see.  

I also asked him why he hated to be hugged.  What he told me killed me.  He said, “I didn't grow up with my mom or dad.  I only played with other small boys.  I never played with adults.  I never got a chance to play with my mom or dad, or aunt and uncle.  You are the one that showed me these things, that hugged me.  It is not bad, but I still am not used to it.”

Can you imagine, growing up never being hugged???  Being 13 or 14, the first time anyone showed you any affection???

It is a reality for these boys and thousands of others living on the streets around the world.  We want to show these boys love and give them a new life but can’t without your support.  We can’t bring more boys home, to the first loving home they have ever had, without you.  Visit our Etsy store to purchase jewelry that pays a woman a fair wage and then supports the boys, have a fun night hosting a jewelry party with your family and friends to support the home and get a beautiful piece of jewelry as a thank you, or visit our website to see the boys that still need sponsors.  These boys need you.  I hope you will stand with us and do something to help them.

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