It's a long drive, and the two of them had a good amount of time to talk about many things.
On Friday night we were supposed to have a Sunday School class social and Easter egg hunt but, having rained for 24 hours, the yard was a pond and that was postponed. Instead, we cooked steaks to welcome L home.
Saturday we took him to see Captain America 2 (GREAT flick!!) and took him shopping for some clothes and for some items so he could finish a school project. Yes, on his first visit, he had homework to do.
That night, we had the long-awaited talk with him and told him we loved him. Mike told him we wanted him to be part of our family, our son and a brother to Zach and Sean. His response was "You're gonna make me cry..."
He said yes.
He told us that he feels a peace with us and at our home - now his home, too. We told him that God made us a family - even before we knew each other!
Easter Sunday was great. L got to meet a lot of our friends, and he went with Zach to youth Sunday school and met the Youth Pastor and Youth Intern. Mike talked to both of the youth leaders and asked them if they could identify a couple great 9th grade boys to take L under their wing and guide him through a new church.
After the church service we took him to meet Pastor Jay and a friend of ours, Tanya Birchfield, got to meet him and she took our Easter picture. Here is (almost) what it looked like:
The inevitable time came to take him back and, as we expected, things got a little sad.
We loaded up the van and set out as a family to take L back. Everything was pretty good until we got him there and we all had a hard time saying goodbye. We reassured him that it was just a week at a time and that we were expecting to pick him up for a weekend visit every weekend until school was out.
We've said this before but the hard part is the separation. We want him here and he wants to be here.
He told Mike Saturday, after we had bought him several things, that we should not have spent so much money on him (it really wasn't that much). Mike pointed out that's what parents are for, to make sure their child has what they need, no matter the cost. It is a concept he could not understand because it's something he has never experienced.
He talked about how he wasn't going to have room in his new bedroom for all his stereo equipment and other stuff. Mike pointed out that, until now, his room was his haven. He now has an entire house and family to spend time with and that he would not be spending that much time in his room anyway. He looked a bit perplexed at the idea.
Zach and Sean have really taken to him - he is a natural big brother. They are eating up his attention!
We, and L, have a long road ahead of us. Mike talked to him about the need for him to let go and let us BE his parents. That he needed to let himself be vulnerable and trust that we "had his back." He admitted that was going to take time. Mike told him there wasn't a time limit.
Please pray that this next month goes smoothly. And quickly. Try imagining having to take your own child and leave him with someone else during the week.
L is our son. He is our child. We want him at home. Pray that we will be able to be for him what he needs, and that he will feel God's love as these walls come down. L will have a really hard time being vulnerable - pray that we have patience. Pray for L that he can understand and accept our love for him - we are blowing his mind at the moment with our profession of love and care for him. He doesn't understand why we would want him - what a perfect opportunity to share God's grace and love! Thank you for praying for our family!