Tonight I'm trying to figure things out.
Mr. I had a rough day.
Earlier, when we were in the car, Mr. I told me he wished I was Mexican. He then asked me how old he'd have to be in order to move back to the birth family. When I told him eighteen, he said, "But by then I will be an adult and can be on my own." "Yes, it's sad that it all worked out the way it did. But we are legally responsible for you until then." I didn't say much, but tried to let him talk. It's so hard not to close him down when he talks about running away, or ask questions like, "What would Dad do if I hit you in the face?" So I hope I answered his questions simply and with understanding.
What I didn't say, but was thinking, was this: "Yes, it's not right that you had to leave your birth family and were placed with a white family. It's not natural for kids to bounce from place to place, only to end up in a stranger's house. The birth family should have done what they could to keep you where you belonged. The state didn't ask for too much. But they are drug addicts that care more about themselves than what's best for you. And they haven't changed as much as I hoped. I hate it when they don't call and then make excuses when you finally get a hold of them. It's never their fault. There is always somebody else to blame. It breaks my heart every time you say you miss them and I know that they don't miss you enough to pick up the phone or follow through with a visit. I understand that you are trying to figure out how to be a Hispanic man. I understand that you wish you could be with the family you were born into, or at least some family that looks like they could be related. But can't you see we love you? Even though you look different, you are just as much a part of our family as any of the other kids. And when you talk about moving back to the birth family, I get really scared for you and Ms. D. Just about all the other people in that family have ended up in jail, worked in the sex trade, have been in gangs, or have been addicted to drugs. It's a horrible life and I worry that they will get you into that lifestyle. They are really more dangerous than you can imagine. This is your chance to have a better life. I hope you don't throw it away because you don't feel connected."
But I don't say those kind of things. It wouldn't be helpful to say them. So I hold those thoughts inside, pray, and hope that someday they will see that they are loved.
If that was the only thing that concerned me today about Mr. I, it would be enough. But he came home with tears in his eyes after some altercation with a friend. What concerned me is that Mr. I didn't want to talk to us about it. I don't know what was said. It is hard for me to know that something is bothering him, but I am clueless as to what it is. At least he slowly warmed up to us as the evening went on. Thanks to Microbio Daughter getting him and his sister some coffee, he slowly let us touch him and let us pray for him before bed. But I still don't know if it is something I need to worry about, or if it is just a typical kid thing. Whatever it was, it shook him up.
I really need a lot of wisdom to help the kids navigate these teen years.