Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Difficult lessons

Tom and Moses after church
This is a continuation of my post yesterday, if you didn’t read it go back here and take a second to read it.  I gave a lot of background info about Uganda that will help you to understand everything that is happening.

Sunday started off like every other Sunday and everything was fine until I was waiting to get my coffee.  Usually when I am getting my coffee, the boys wander around the mall to see the huge koi fish in a pond in the parking garage or ride the elevator.  So when one of the boys came to get me and told me that the security guards took one of the boys and one of their friends, I really thought that he was joking.  It wasn’t until I was standing outside of the security office and saw all of the other boys standing around that I knew it was serious.

When I reached the security office, the very first thing that I saw was a really big man, at least 6 feet tall and 200 pounds, walking across the 2 boys’ legs and then backhanding my boy.  To say that I lost it would be the understatement of the century.  A fire and rage came over me like I have never experienced.  I didn’t know I could be so angry.  I just started screaming at him and didn’t stop.  I can’t even tell you what I said.  I was so angry I was shaking and it was like I was possessed.  Words just kept coming.  I just know I kept shouting and demanding that they give me back my children.  There were 3 men in the room at the time, the two boys and me.  Everyone else was standing at the door outside.  Our uncle just happened to be there at the same time and saw it all.  When he tried to enter the office, the man just pushed him back out. He’s always calm and quiet and probably preferring to let me be the crazy one, he just walked back out. 

I wasn’t about to be quieted until I got the boys back, so I entered the office and just started screaming.  It was like I was on fire.  I remember the one that stepped on the boys doing all of the talking, when I stopped screaming long enough for him to say a word that is.  I don’t think anyone expected it from me.  Even me, I didn’t think I could be so demanding and absolutely out of control.  At that moment, I didn’t care that I was shouting and people were stopped and staring.  I was furious that that man had not only stepped on the boys, but also slapped the one so hard and refused to let them go.  Had he not stepped on them or hit the one, I probably could have kept my crazy hidden, talked things out like a reasonable adult, and we would have been on our way.  But something about seeing a grown man step and hit a boy that I love more than anything, made me completely lose it.  It made me lose all rational thinking.  It is actually a wonder that that man didn’t hit me.  I was totally challenging his authority as a man and not backing down.  A woman definitely is not supposed to shout at a man and demand him anything.  And there I was, breaking all of the rules and in front of an audience of about 30 people by then to boot.  It is a wonder he didn’t hit me just to prove that he was a man.  Thank God he didn’t because it wouldn’t have been just a crazy lady screaming, but her crazy children trying to kill a man for hitting her.

He tried to justify his actions and say the boys had bad manners, but I just kept screaming.  He was upset because the boys were playing around and it seemed that they were fighting.  I tried to explain to him that they were kids and made a mistake and chose the wrong place to play.  He didn’t care.  He wanted to cane them and there was no way that I was letting that happen.  Things didn’t calm down until another man came into the room.  Thankfully, he wasn’t a complete jerkface or at least realized that I wasn’t going to stop screaming until he let the kids go.  By this time, so many people had gathered around to watch the crazy lady screaming.  By the end, the new man actually apologized to me and let the boys go.

The Koi fish we always have to make sure is around
My boy was so hurt and upset, his eyes were bloodshot and he had a cut on his lip.  The other boy was so terrified, he couldn’t go and find his aunt without me.  I sent the boys on their way home, as I went to do an errand.  When I got home, I found the one and asked if he was ok.  He said not yet, but he would be.  I told him that I was sorry that happened to him.  He told me that he learned something from it.  I asked if it was that those men had bad manners and abused their powers.  He told me yes, but also that it isn’t an option anymore for him but he must study to be a lawyer.  I told him that was so good because the world needed someone like him to stand up for people and fight against things like that.

What he said next completely shocked me.  I was actually feeling badly because if I had gotten there 20 seconds sooner that man wouldn’t have touched them, or if I had been paying attention and not getting coffee, they would have never been taken.  But he said, “thank you.”  I asked him for what and he said for fighting for them.  I responded by saying that I loved him more than anything, would do anything for him and I will always fight for him.

Vincent at the mall
I didn’t have to think twice.  When I saw that man step on them, I was already asking what is going on.  When he hit him, I lost it.  While maybe someone else might not have turned into a Tasmanian Devil like me, I think most people’s reactions would have been outrage also.  But for him, my reaction was strange and unexpected.  I don’t think he has ever had anyone fight for him, probably none of them have.  I am sorry that I lost my temper and went crazy, its not becoming on anyone, but I am not sorry that they all saw how far I would go to defend them.  They needed to see that.  They needed to know.  We have been talking a lot about family lately and how blood doesn’t make family.  Love and understanding makes family.  This boy in particular has really struggled lately.  We were actually in world war 3 for the last week or so and finally just made up on Saturday.  He questions and tests my love for him constantly.  He can’t believe or accept, that when I tell him I love him that it is true.  He can’t let go of his hurt and anger over losing his mom.  I just reassured him on Saturday that while I wasn’t his mom I loved him more than anything and would do absolutely anything for him.  Sunday he got to see that in action.  I see so much potential in him but he can’t stay focused in school, but maybe now he realizes what is at stake.

He actually learned two lessons yesterday:  that the world needs him as a lawyer and he is committed to that and that I will protect him no matter what.  It is terrible that it took a bully to prove those things to him, but now he knows.  Now they all do.

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