a hard lesson

by Kayla Raymond

My middle child, Loveson, stole my heart the minute I met him. Only after a short day of knowing him, I knew there was something special happening between the two of us. Webert and I would later take him in as our own and a peace would settle deep in my soul, as he would begin to call me mama.

We were initially told Loveson had no parents. We were later told he did have parents, but they never visited him in the orphanage where he had lived. And later on, his parents would call social services and tell them they wanted him back.

To say it has been an emotional roller coaster at times would be an understatement. A month ago, we were told to bring him to social services the very next day with the expectations to never see him again. His parents never showed up that next day and it was yet another confirmation of how ridiculous this system is and how much harder I would have to fight to keep Loveson safe.

Two weeks later the same news was given, but this time the parents showed up. I didn’t go to the meeting because people from ViBella were visiting and I had lots of things going on. At one point, they asked if I was worried or needed to call Webert and I responded by saying, “for some reason I am not worried at all, I know that God put Loveson in my life and I am suppose to raise him as my son.”

Maybe that sounds crazy, but like I said before, deep down in my soul I know that’s what I am suppose to be.

Loveson’s mom and dad saw Loveson last month for the first time in four years. They were excited and were able to answer lots of questions we had. We learned Loveson has two older siblings and a younger one. He was put in the orphanage at the age of two because they could not care for him. They never knew how awful the conditions were inside of the orphanage. They are happy to know he is in a safe place now. Their only request is for Loveson to come for a sleepover and to spend time with him.

So, now the question stands, will we let him go for a sleepover?

I’m worried Loveson will get confused, or he will feel he has to choose who to love. I’m worried he won’t know where he belongs. I tried explaining to him how he can love his mom and dad and can go to visit them whenever he would like. I told him he can ask any and all questions he has.

I asked him if he would like to go there and spend the night with them, his answer, “No, because I don’t want you to cry.”

You see, Loveson has the tenderest heart and he is also too smart for his own good. I have tried not to cry in front of him as we have gone through this process, but I clearly didn’t do a good enough job.

I wrestle though this all the other day as I braid bracelets and necklaces for ViBella. My mind races every which way as my hands bead and thread.

I really do want to grant the parents’ wish and let Loveson get to know where he comes from, but I have a hard time knowing this may cause confusion and who knows what other types of emotional trauma. There really is no easy answer.

And the selfish, very ugly side of me just wants to guilt Loveson into staying with me. Tell him how he won’t have a bed, if he goes to be with his family. Tell him he won’t get chocolate candies at night or have any toys. Tell him he won’t be able to go to the beach again or have a television to watch movies on. I could tell him how poor his biological family and its only best if he stays with me. How incredibly awful of me would that be?

And from the tears he has seen me shed, it looks like it has already had this effect on him. Insert big sigh.

And like the undeserving daughter that I am, the Lord whispers these words on my heart:

I love you. I wait for you everyday to acknowledge me, but you get distracted. I, too, am jealous for you like you are for Loveson. I have every reason to guilt you into loving me; think of all the things I have given you. I have given you immeasurably more than you could ever ask for or imagine; yet you forget about me. You go about your days forgetting to acknowledge me. When you are weary, you forget to rely on me. When you are worried, you forget to trust me. I understand how you are feeling, for I feel the same way when you forget about me, my daughter. Trust in me.

Tears are now welling and I realize how the love I have for the Loveson, the urge I have to fight for him and the sacrifices I have made for him are only a fragment of the love, fight and sacrifices God has made for me.

I am reminded how my job is to love Loveson. Of course the situation is hard and complicated, but I don’t need to have all the answers, all God has asked of me is to love this child. How foolish I am to think I can take care of the rest of the details on my own. The details are for Him to deal with.

This has been a hard lesson for me, because my human instincts are to still respond with worry, anger and selfish desires. My instincts are to respond with guilt and hate. But my God works in mysterious ways and He teaches me to love even when it is the enemy, to be content even when the circumstances are hard and to trust even when the answers are so far from being known. He teaches me that all I need to do is turn my face towards is.

From a broken and healing servant,

Love from Haiti.

We have yet to take Loveson for a second visit to his parents, but we plan on doing so soon. In the meantime will you prayer for Loveson, his family and for our family as we walk this journey together.