A Tale of Two Teens
(A true story. The names are changed)
The parents of six children, my husband and I tried to think of some project we could undertake that would also involve our children. Searching our collective brains, we finally came up with “Foster Children”! What a novel idea that was. By doing this, all of our own children could partake in this endeavor. So we proceeded to make all the arrangements for this PROJECT to begin.
We went through the training period. The children were quite apprehensive about this, but being good little soldiers they did it. Of course, we knew that our children were the finest children alive and would never take on the attributes of these foster kids. HO, HO.
It was not long before we had a phone call, asking if we would accept two teen age brothers – one thirteen and one sixteen. These calls always seemed to come at mid-night or 2:00 am. I guess that kids only got into trouble at night.
Home they came. We scurried around, made up two beds, and saw that there were enough dressers to put their clothes in. Further down the line, we didn’t worry about dressers nor made-up beds. They slept on bare mattresses, and put away their clothes on the floor. The dirty laundry was usually mixed up with the clean. I was sure our children would show them the proper way to take care of their things. Dream on!
A little background on these two boys is necessary here. Tom and Jerry came from a ‘No Father’ home. Their mom was a druggie and their step-dad beat them unmercifully. If either of them did not do as he was told, the step-father would chain him to a tree and beat him with a heavy stick. The boys still had scars on their backs. They were finally taken from the home, after the mother died of an over dose. The step-father was arrested and put in jail. The boys had no where to go.
I wonder if any one can understand what must go through a child’s mind when encountering this kind of treatment. Wouldn’t you rebel and act out at the world? It was up to our family to present a healthy life picture to the boys.
Time marched on and the house and family took a beating with holes in the walls, broken windows, stolen articles, graffiti on the walls, sleepless nights, improper words learned by the children, and the joys of smoking by the innocent. Would we do it again? Time and space do not allow the whole story to be told.
Our two brothers stayed with us for nearly three years. We came to be their “Mom and Dad”. We took them to church every Sunday, gave them life skills and values and endeavored to put into practice the command that Jesus gave us to go into the whole world teaching and making disciples of all people. They still send us cards and call us on Mother and Father’s days.
The two brothers are now married and one has two girls and the other has three boys. They dearly love those kids and will never treat them as they were treated.
Yes, we would do it all over again. We are still taking in kids, who need a time out period to learn to get along with their parents and siblings. Sometimes it just takes some breathing room to realize what they could enjoy at home.
Our family has taken in over 200 children during the last 40 years. We have seen our own children become adults who are tolerant and loving to all children no matter what the circumstances. They are willing to work with all types of children providing them with examples of Godly lives. Each family is in some form of the ministry at this time.
We have had some successes and some failures, but Because we opened our home to troubled children, our lives have been enriched and been given an insight into the life Christ has for all if we follow Him. Christ loved all the children and His heart was broken when one of them was hurt. By following His Commands and example we can live an overcoming life. There is not enough time and space to tell of all the benefits of working with children. You too will be blessed when you reach out in love to all of God’s children.
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