25 Oct Day 15: Roger

“The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.”

Psalm 37:23

Roger, wearing red, on his first day of work at his new job

Where Roger came from is not nearly as important as where he is going. He has a plan. He’s smart, cute, compassionate, and willing to put out the effort. That doesn’t mean he was always cooperative about chores, or didn’t tease his housemates. He’s a teenage boy.

His past would cause most of us to be in therapy for years. His mother died when he was three and his father disappeared after a price was put on his head. A neighbor took him and his brother in, and they cared for him until he was 12, but then decided it was too much and sent him to us. By then he had already been used as a drug runner and trafficker.

Even after his older brother ran away, Roger remained firm, taking his studies seriously, planning to be a doctor or businessman. He learned to play the saxophone, and he won a place at a private school. Roger was the picture of success.

At one point, the government started a campaign to get older kids adopted. Roger was one of the kids featured on TV. I cringed to see him advertised on television, but I wanted the best for him. In this video, you won’t see that commercial, but a follow-up piece where Roger talks with a reporter about his experience.

A wonderful couple took Roger in, and they asked him to be their son. But after a few months Roger asked to come back, simply and cheerfully saying it was not what he wanted.

As a mother of two adopted kids, I cried watching the mother and father dropping him off. Her heart was breaking. And so was mine. Their intentions were good, and they had given their hearts to him. It left us all bewildered, speculating as to why he would want to give up his own room, bike, a pet bird, and all the attention a mother and father could give. I wasn’t even flattered that he wanted to come back, because my heart hurt so much for them, and for Roger.

That was almost two years ago, and he’s never looked back. He seems genuinely happy. He’s in the final stages of our program. He has completed his two internships and has been offered a job, at a higher-than-average starting salary. He is also studying English and plans to finish his college studies in the United States. I do believe he’s going to be someone very special.

I love this big kid. When he comes up behind me and wraps his big arms around me and easily rests his chin on the top of my head, I just glow inside. Maybe I worry too much; but I pray for him… just in case.

Just as you pray for your own children, pray for Roger, and pray for all of our graduates as they leave the nest and look for that special someone to start a family. Pray for them to be able to open up and enter into a relationship with their whole hearts and that the intimacy of trusting someone will not be too much for them.