Last night, I went to say good-night to the kids and walked into one of the boys' room in the east wing just as 9-year-old Gideon was trying to close his "locker" (drawer). The drawer was a mess with clothes just crammed into it. "Would you like me to help you with that, Gideon?" I asked. He couldn't say "Yes!" any faster.
So, this afternoon, I headed over for locker duty. Gideon beamed when I walked in and he realized I was there to help him. He quickly dumped everything on his bed and squealed when he realized that his underwear was laying in clear sight of a girl! Of course his brothers gave him a hard time about it, too... Boys!
We were hardly halfway through with his drawer when Kipkurui tapped me on the shoulder. "You help me?" he asked and popped his little thumb back into his mouth. "OK, Kurui. You're next." But when I turned around, all six lockers behind me were open! They were all waiting for help!
Five-year-old Kurui, unlike his bigger brothers, wanted to show off each and every pair of underwear that he owns. "Look, Adele!" he'd say and hold them up. Boys...
There were only three of the 12 boys whose lockers were perfectly ordered. And those three were eager to show me that they didn't need help! One of these three, Jonah, quietly started working alongside me. He'd fold each and every piece of clothing carefully and pile everything on the table before finding the most appropriate spot for it again. I asked Jonah where he learned to fold clothes so nicely, and he said "From my mom." "Your mom here, or before, when you were at home." "Here," he said quietly while focusing on the pile of clothes.
Sometimes I so wish I could really understand the kids' hearts. I wish I was a child psychiatrist and could really understand what they're all facing. Like little Sharon. Her baby brother Dennis was just brought to the home this weekend. Sharon and her brother Hillary were the very first kids brought to our home. But they still had a 1-year-old brother at home, and we couldn't take in kids under 3. So Dennis was finally able to join his siblings. Of course he doesn't remember them, but they remember him. Hillary's been having a wonderful time playing with his little brother. But Sharon seemed distant when I chatted with her about how much Dennis resembles her. I walked away wondering if having him here is a reminder of how much of a burden they were on their older siblings. I don't know. I don't think it's the challenge of having a new sibling in the family. She was very excited when their foster parents new baby was born 2 months ago...
Looking at the needs--emotionally, but also simply time-wise, having someone sit on the floor next to you and help you fold clothing--of the children can be overwhelming at times. There are now 98 children. I so desperately want to love them equally. But that is hard. I connect with some, and not with others. But it's when I take the time to sit and fold clothes that I build relation with even ones I hadn't connected with before.
I've asked Jesus before to show me His face. He answered, "Look around you. Look at Benson's smile. Ruthu's eyes. Apollo's humor. Vincent's mind. Gideon's pain. Faith's touch. Love them, and you're loving Me."
If you have a free moment sometime, come and sit with our kids. And sit with Jesus.