Tuesday, December 14, 2010

a call from R

i know i've been pretty tight lipped about R & P the last several weeks. mostly it's because there has not really been any thing to say. ryan and i have been dealing with the realization that the relationship we were hoping and praying to have with the boys is not a reality, and it may never be. while we both still think of them and talk about them often, our contact with the boys has been extremely limited since they went back with their mom...but not for our lack of trying.

we've tried calling their mom's cell to talk to the boys several times but were usually told that R was asleep, unavailable or not at home. we planned to go to one of R's basketball games, only to find out the day of the game that we were given the wrong time for the game. we asked to have the boys in our home for thanksgiving since their mother usually works that day but she told us that she got the day off to cook for them. after a quick and anonymous call to her work that day, we soon realized that she lied to us and began to get the hint. i emailed R on thanksgiving to tell him how thankful we were for him, little P, and our time as a family but never got a response. the only time we had seen them since they went back was about 5 days after they were returned, when we met them to give R his iPod that he left at our house. truthfully, ryan and i were beginning to feel like we'd done all we could and were ready to step back for awhile because it was too hard to keep trying only to get shut down.

last night, i woke up to go to the bathroom {pretty typical these days!} and i could not go back to sleep. i found myself beginning to stress and grow anxious over our upcoming trip, finally meeting our little man, and passing court. my mind also naturally began to drift to the boys. i wondered how different their christmas morning would look than year, and my heart ached. i prayed for the boys for quite some time last night and asked God again to show us where He'd have us go with our relationship with them. it was beginning to look hopeless from our perspective so i told Him that i wasn't sure we'd be able to keep trying to no avail for much longer.

after finally dozing off again late into the morning, i woke up around 7:25 a.m. to my cell phone ringing. i look groggily at the phone and was shocked to see that it was R's mom calling. i answered the phone and R asked me if i was at home. he thought we might be in ethiopia already! i assured him that we can't afford to take phone calls on our cells from ethiopia so i was at home still snuggled in my bed :) he then told me that his mom's car was completely frozen and wouldn't start so he had no way to get to school. huh? we hadn't heard from them in 4 weeks and now they were calling about us giving him a ride to school. i was definitely surprised and at first a little disappointed that was the only reason they were calling. i told him that i would be on my way shortly and jumped out of bed to get ready. hey, at least he wanted to go to school, right?

ryan was already up for the day getting ready so i went in the bathroom to tell him what happened. he had been to the boys' new house once previously to drop off all their belongings so ryan decided that i could follow him down there since it was somewhat on his way to work. i got dressed and was just kind of dumbfounded the whole way to their house. {mind you, they live on the complete opposite end of town from us now!! 30+ minutes in rush hour traffic each way, but it was worth it to finally see R!}

when we got to their house, ryan and i were both disappointed to hear that little P was not there. the boys' mom said that she had already walked him down to daycare for the day. we haven't seen him since early october so i can only imagine how much he's changed in over 2 months! R came out and he looked so different himself. i'm pretty sure that he's probably grown another inch taller and hasn't had a hair cut since the last time we took him so he was a bit shaggy. we both gave him a big hug, and i was immediately overwhelmed with the smell coming from him. as we were walking out to our car, he handed us a copy of his school picture that he had taken while living with us in september. the comparison between the boy in the picture and the boy riding next to me made me sad. i couldn't help but to notice that the hooded sweatshirt he was wearing {one he got from ryan's parents last christmas} was covered in dark black stains and that his school uniform looked unwashed. he generally looked dirty and unkempt, which was hard to see. i know appearances aren't everything, but seeing him that way makes me wonder what type of nurturing he's getting now that he was back with his mom...

we pretty much made small talk our whole way to his school. for once, i was actually thankful for the rush hour traffic because it gave me a few more minutes with him. we didn't talk about anything major, mostly just little things about school, basketball, our family and baby P as i didn't want to push my luck. i primarily just asked him a lot of questions and he answered. it was surprisingly natural and seemed liked we'd picked up right where we left off. while R lived with us, we always had wars over which radio stations to listen to in the car. he'd always change the station i was listening to sad, depressing country songs and i'd make him change it! as i was driving, i had the radio on softly in the background and i saw him eying the radio a couple times like he was going to reach up and change it. that made me happy and sad all at once.

as we got closer to his school, i told him how much we missed him and that we'd love to see him again soon. he smiled and nodded, and we agreed that we'd try to go see the new n@rnia movie when we got back from ethiopia. as i dropped him off, i told him again that we loved him and missed him, and to call whenever. he smiled, gathered his things, and told me goodbye.

it was a hard morning but also a good one too. here i had just asked God a few hours before to show us where He wanted us in our relationship with these boys, and He opened the door again. i'm not sure what today will lead to in the future, but i hope it's more than just panicked phone calls when they need something. i hope we can continue building our relationship with the boys and their mother so that they'd know how much we love them, and more importantly how much the Lord loves them.


Justin and Donna Brown said...

Love your honesty Lesli.

jody said...

praying for that, too!

~Sarah~ said...

You and Ryan will probably never know the huge impact you had on those boys, especially R!! I will join you in prayer as God continues to show you where to go from here with the boys!

Amber said...

The fact that R knew you'd be there for him in a pinch means a lot. He knew you would come through for him. For him, stability in anyone means the world. God whispers to us...


YAY to seeing Greer soon too!!!