Taking care of each other

Of all the worries that happen along this path, what might happen to my children tops the list.

This week, I read about a fifteen-year-old Florida boy, Davion Only. He was born to a mother who was in jail, then spent his life in the foster care system. He is currently living in a group home with 12 other boys, and understandably had anger issues and bad grades in school.

Recently, he decided to take control of his life. Though his circumstances remained the same, he worked on his anger issues and dramatically improved his grades. Still, he wanted a family, someone who would love him for the rest of his life. So he stood up in church, in a borrowed suit, and asked for what he wanted.

“I’ll take anyone,” Only said during his speech, his hands sweating. “Old or young, dad or mom, black, white, purple. I don’t care. And I would be really appreciative. The best I could be.”

As someone who wholeheartedly feels that there is always room at the table for one more, this pushed all my buttons. My heart expanded as I thought of him making these big personal changes on his own, when it is hard enough for me to make personal changes even with support and someone who believes in me. I was pulled toward his initiative, his appreciation for what he may be given, and my belief that every person and certainly every child deserves someone who loves them. The systems are not set up for love and caring.

And it is there that I worry about my boys. I hope that, if there is ever a time that I cannot be here for them, the world will take care of them. I like to think that we take care of each other, but, as Davion’s story shows, that doesn’t happen easily.

He simply wants what so many of us have and take for granted: To be loved, and to have someone to love.

I think about how one of our sons, though internally driven to practice gymnastics, still sneaks a look here and there to confirm that I am watching him. I know that our other son is smart but does much better schoolwork if I simply sit next to him as he works. Knowing that we matter to another person helps us each to be our best self.

Taking care of each other seems like the biggest honor on earth right now. I so wish that we could provide Davion with a forever family, and hope that whoever is lucky enough to adopt him feels like it is an honor as well.

That feeling of honor often gets lost in our daily noise. But after we turn out the lights at night, I love listening to the boys talking together before they fall asleep.

“Do you think that Lance will be in gymnastics after his concussion?”

“It is dangerous to do gymnastics with a concussion.”

“He is pretty good. He might be able to do it.”*

It warms my heart beyond words to feel their connection with each other, and I am reminded that it is an honor and blessing that I get to be part of it all.

Each person I am able to help provides no less of an honor and blessing. I hope that you feel blessed for all the help you have given to me and my family, as I know that I feel blessed when I have the opportunity to help as well.

Love always,

*Lance didn’t actually have a concussion after all. Whew.