February 23, 2013

Love Blooms

Preparing the Soil

Long before I met you, many years before you were born, the soil of my heart was being prepared to love you.   There was no specific, definable emotion, and there was no one upon whom to shower my affections.  But the Lord had so lavished His love upon me, that it sort of overflowed my heart.  It began as a general feeling of charity, an unsettling desire to share my heart, my home, and my blessings.

Externally, the preparations were quite practical, keeping my hands busy and my thoughts happily occupied.  I completed the training classes and the licensing process to become a foster parent, purchased a crib and car seat and stroller, stocked up on children’s clothes in various sizes.  I quit my full-time job In order to become a full-time mother.   All the while, I wondered whom the Lord would bring into my home.  Of all the children in all the world who needed a family, which one would join mine?

Unbeknownst to me, the garden of my life required a lot of hidden preparation as well, pruning and weeding and nurturing work that only the Lord could accomplish.  Ever so gently He removed the thorns of selfishness that would have prevented me from loving you whole-heartedly.  Slowly and patiently He enriched the soil of my heart with faith and wisdom, essential nutrients that He knew I would need in order to be your mother. 

February 14, 2013

Culture Shock

Worlds Apart

My world is relatively calm, predictable, and safe.  For the most part, I know what to expect from day to day; I never miss a meal unless it is by choice; and I sleep peacefully at night, knowing that the door to my upper middle class home with its well-manicured lawn is locked and secure.  Life is good.

His life is turbulent, unstable, and dangerous.  He never knows from day to day if his mamacita is going to come home, and if she does, if there will be a man with her.  There may or may not be enough food to eat, so when there is, he hovers over it like an animal, shoveling each spoonful into his mouth as fast as he can, snarling if anyone accidentally gets too close.  The door to his apartment in the government-housing “projects” may be locked, but it doesn’t keep out the sounds of screaming neighbors, gunshots, and sirens.  Life is uncertain.

He has spent his eight brief years learning how to navigate the urban jungle, having long ago accepted the “every man out for himself” mentality and adopted a machismo attitude in order to survive.  He has learned how to lie, steal, manipulate, and threaten.  And most of all, he has learned to never, ever trust anyone.  It may not be a perfect world, but it is all he has ever known.