My precious friend Stacey Maljian, a volunteer with New Horizons for Children–the same organization we partnered with to host this summer, emailed me a couple of weeks ago to ask if I would help advocate for some of the children in the winter program who are available for adoption–but were not able to be adopted by their host families. I read the story about Edgar tonight–a most precious one who like our T is about to age out. His host family is unable to adopt him (although they fell in love with him!) because of age requirements. But they are praying big for him to find a family—and SOON.
I read through his bio–and now…I’m sitting here in a bucket of tears. Becuase–Edgar…well…he’s beautiful. And he’s about to age out. He’s been in the system since he was 2. Without a mom–or daddy…without someone to tell him stories and rock him. And reading his bio you see that really all this sweet boy wants is a family. Simple as that.
Our family has been through the thick lately having encountered people who have chosen to do wrong–people who choose to hurt…put money over hearts…and truly–it’s devastating. Because we live in this broken world. And it’s sin. This is not heaven. Not yet. There are so many hurting here on this Earth–and those who do wrong…well, they are hurting most of all…but some times they don’t even know it.
BUT—while many walk in darkness…I also see LIGHT. Daily I also encounter hearts that are pure, and good–and being led by the Holy Spirit. Sure, they mess up–but they confess that–pray for the Lord to lead them and their walk challenges me–and their choices are without question admirable and true. While darkness and the hurt around us seems to pull us down and distract, we must be reminded that the Lord is using MANY greatly in this world that often seems so full of darkness to truly shine Jesus to a hurting world. HE IS BIGGER. HE IS BRIGHTER. And the in end, MY KING WINS. He has a purpose–and hat the enemy means for evil–our Father in heaven can and will use for good and His glory. There are hearts that want to bring healing instead of hurt–hearts that are willing to take risks. People who are willing to follow Jesus at all costs. People who realize this life–it’s really nothing more than bringing healing and love to the broken…and THAT is what our lives should really be about. THIS IS WHAT WE WERE MADE FOR. TO HIM BE THE GLORY.
I read Edgar’s story and I think, “This makes no sense.” And you know in your heart there is a family out there for him–who will fight for him and love him and whose hearts soon realize they have missed him terribly for his whole life. I really believe there is a family out there for Edgar. I believe for every broken heart that the Lord is calling someone to step in and love…and this is really what we, as believers, were made for.
Will you please read Edgar’s story? Will you share it with others? Will you consider sharing it through Facebook or on your own blog? Will you pray with me–that a miracle will happen in Edgar’s life…and that this sweet boy will be able to delight in being a SON…in having a mom and dad–a place to call home? Will you pray for a miracle as he is about to age out?
He is precious.
It is my honor and high privilege to introduce you to one of the Lord’s most precious and prized children–please meet Edgar:
Edgars – LAST CHANCE – Age 15 (turns 16 in August)
Written by his precious host family:
Edgars came to us with a smile on his face. From the moment we met him at the gate, he radiated openness and incredible warmth – he was obviously a little nervous, but from the beginning he trusted us with his whole heart. One of the first things he ever said was, “Thank you for choosing me.” Edgars immediately began to display a strong desire for physical connectedness with our whole family – he hugged our 4-year-old daughter for airport photos, he stood next to me with his head on my shoulder reading his translated welcome letter. He sat in the backseat during our ride home from the airport, trying everything he could think of to comfort our screaming 10-month-old son – from feeding him puffs to handing over his prized possession (his mp3 player) for him to chew on. We knew Edgars was a special boy the moment we saw him in the photolisting, but we weren’t prepared to witness the incredible kindness, maturity, and optimism that he has kept alive inside of himself with the help of our amazing God.
Edgars has bonded well with all members of our family, though it has been clear throughout that he desires a mother above all else in life. During the first two weeks, Edgars resisted developing a deep relationship with my husband but he is now seeing the value in having a healthy relationship with a father. Edgars is incredibly gentle and patient with small children, and he would do beautifully with siblings of any age or gender, or as an only child. He takes the role of big brother very seriously and enjoys helping out – he is always happy to hold a hand in the grocery store, buckle car seats, or comfort his “small” sister or brother when they get a bump. This hosting was not a Disneyland-type vacation for Edgars – we enjoyed each other at home most days and Edgars never acted bored. He loves being at home, spending short periods of time in his room, and then rejoining the family. He has a deep need to connect with others and is appropriately affectionate. Edgars is respectful of property, asks before taking things, has excellent manners (please/thank you with a smile) and he is good with animals. He follows family rules and we have never had an instance where discipline was necessary. Honesty is of utmost importance to Edgars – it means a lot to him that others trust him.
He reacts in an age appropriate way to negative situations, though he will do most anything to avoid conflict. Edgars has a very difficult time with the idea of a parent being mad at him, and he immediately retreats inside himself as a method of protection. He is beginning to accept that anger does not have to be the default emotion in conflict and by demonstrating that he is loved even when there is a problem that needs resolution, Edgars is recovering more quickly each time. We have noted that each time we have a conversation that is uncomfortable for Edgars; he grows in significant ways as a result. He truly does value the lesson that can be learned, and he takes time to reflect on what that takeaway is. Edgars has chosen to change several of his behavior patterns based solely on these discussions. For example, he was quite dismissive of Dad when Mom was also in the room – he would avert his gaze and tune Dad out, ignoring what he was saying. Mom addressed it the next morning, just to say that we had noticed the behavior, and Edgars withdrew in the expected way. After he had time to digest the conversation, Edgars began making a real effort to be more respectful when Dad (and others) spoke. In time, this built trust between them and Edgars now enjoys a very healthy relationship with Dad – this boy’s level of maturity and ability to self-reflect at age 15 is truly impressive. Edgars has been very open about his past, the issues that need to be addressed are clear, and he is willing to work through them with trusted adults. There have been NO episodes aggression, lying, pouting or outbursts since he has been with us.
His ability to learn and retain information – language in particular – is astounding. He spoke English with us from day one without hesitancy, though his vocabulary was limited. By day 10, Edgars knew he could translate more efficiently than Google Translate and he hasn’t asked to use it since. We speak English with him at full speed and use the same phrasing we would with native speakers, and I would estimate that he understands and responds without needing clarification to about 85% of what we say. His expressive language has developed at a similar rate, and we are shocked by the nuances and humor he injects into conversation. Edgars is an incredibly intelligent boy who will thrive academically once he is challenged and held accountable.
Edgars is very respectful and helpful, especially to women. He will not sit down at our dinner table until I am seated first. He insists on scraping the snow off the car and starting it up – then he will come back to the house to walk me out. He carries the diaper bag (I KNOW!). He notices when I haven’t eaten because I’ve been taking care of the little kids, and he will make me lunch. Every day Edgars does something to take my breath away.
A few things to note:
Edgars has a large tattoo that covers his left forearm and hand. He loves to draw, and he designed and tattooed his arm himself. After being in America and living in a relatively small town here, it is clear that he deeply regrets the tattoo (particularly on his hand). Every time we are in public, someone asks us if the ink is real and he is growing increasingly self-conscious of it – recently he has asked about laser removal as a long-term option. When he arrived, he told me that he was afraid we would reject him completely once we saw that tattoo (he didn’t have it at the interview), and he actually broke down in tears when I told him that no tattoo would change the fact that we knew he is a good boy.
He has a blossoming relationship with Jesus Christ. Edgars is being mentored by a wonderful priest who ministers to the boys in his orphanage. Along with his headphones, his favorite Christmas gift was his English language Action Bible, which he stayed up reading on Christmas night until 6 am.
Edgars has some attention deficit / hyperactivity issues and takes medication. However, since being in a home environment and after about a week of gentle correction, Edgars has slowed way down. Things are no longer being accidentally dropped and broken. His need to fidget is almost non-existent, whereas it was constant in the beginning. We still see some of the attention span issues, but in no way would I consider his current behavior to be hyperactive. It is amazing what family life can do!
Edgars’ favorite time of day by far is bedtime. Since the first night, he has welcomed me into his room so that we could talk about the day, do our daily affirmation, and say a prayer together. As the weeks progressed, he has found a lot of comfort in being held and rocked – just for a minute or so – each night before being tucked in. It is during these quiet moments that I can see the little boy who still lives inside this teenager, who desperately wants to be loved and told he is good inside.
Edgars has been in the system since age 2 and has no relatives or siblings. Truly there is no reason that he should be the loving, well-adjusted boy that he is, except by the grace of God. I pray constantly that my sweet boy is given the opportunity to become a permanent member of a loving, supportive, gentle Christian family – because he deserves nothing less. Edgars will bring an abundance of joy to the forever family that awaits him. Writing this absolutely breaks my heart because this child has been one of the greatest gifts of my life. I want everyone reading this to know that Edgars has done nothing at all to deter us from adopting him – we are ineligible (we have an minimum age issue). I choose to believe that my role in Edgars’ life is to be his cheerleader, his advocate, and someday, after he is tightly bonded to his new family, I hope that I can be his friend. I feel so blessed that God chose me to be his interim mom…there is nothing I wouldn’t do for this angel in our home, who is asleep upstairs as I write this. From one mother to another – please give our Edgars what we cannot provide him. Please help Edgars find his way home!
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