Five Minute Friday {Leave}


“LEAVE me alone!” These words are becoming a regular part of the sounds around our house. I don’t like them. I don’t believe them. He doesn’t believe them either.

Yet they still roll right off of his tongue, travel through his teeth and flick off his lips.

“LEAVE me alone!”

There are days when I want to yell them right back. When my ears are ringing and my heart is stinging and I think about how life might be so much easier if I did just that — LEAVE him alone.

He glares and spats the words again. “LEAVE me alone!”

I’ve never walked away. I stay close and wait him out. I scoot closer. Brush his shoulder. Rub his back. Eventually he turns to me, hugs me, and one more time I confirm that this is forever. I’m not going anywhere. I’m here forever.

But what if it’s time to also show him that I love him enough to respect his request. (Even if it is said in the most disrespectful of ways.)

“Don’t yo’ ears work? LEAVE me alone!” I’m standing in his bedroom doorway, trying to figure out what to do. Trying to figure out when he’s going to accept that he belongs in this family. Wondering what else can be done to prove that we are glad he’s part of our forever; to affirm that he belongs.

Walk away, my heart says. I squeeze my eyes, not wanting to hurt him more.

“See you don’t want to look at me. LEAVE me alone!” His voice screeches. It sends shivers like nails on a chalkboard.

Trust me, walk away, says the sweet spirit of the One who loves him more than I do.

I turn and walk away.

“About time you LEAVE me alone.” He screeches louder. I walk down the steps, through the house, and collapse on the chair.

His sobs grow louder and louder. My heart cracks because I know he doesn’t mean the words. Because I know he’s hurt. Because I know he’s testing whether I mean it when I say forever.

I keep my eyes closed and rock in the chair. Back and forth. Back and forth. His sobs spatter through the house, louder and louder. He’s gasping for air. He’s sputtering.

And I rock. Trusting he will be okay. Trusting this will help him know forever.

He’s still sobbing. My heart cracks because he is hurt and a momma is supposed to make her son feel safe. I rock and tears well in my still closed eyes.

I’m not sure if I can just leave him alone. It’s been 14 minutes and 54 seconds…55…56…57…

The footsteps tromp down the stairs. The sobs get louder. The footsteps shuffle through the house, following my same path. The sobs sputter dripping on the toes of my socks. His face is soaked and swollen. His eyes are slits and the tears spill out, never ending.

He chokes, but still pushes the words out. “I…didn’t…mean…to…LEAVE.”

I open my arms and he collapses in my lap. His swollen face tucks under my chin and his legs spill off my lap, feet touching the floor. “I know it,” I assure him.

You belong. You belong. You belong.

I whisper these two words over and over again.

You belong. You belong. You belong.

And we rock.

You belong. You belong. You belong.

The sobs subside. He holds on too tight, hurting my waist.

You belong. You belong. You belong.

And I believe that he isn’t too old to heal from a history of having to leave behind families and places and treasures of a too young boy.

I believe he’s not too old to find out forever isn’t a myth.
Because we will never leave him.


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In January 2013, we brought home our son when he was 7 years old. It is a romanticized version of adoption that orphans heal the moment they cross the threshold of a loving home. It takes months, years, sometimes even a lifetime to overcome the harsh history of being an orphan.

This story is a celebration, a victory, that brings us one step closer to healing. It is our mantra: One step closer to healing. We believe our children will heal in childhood. This means we will accept each fit and argument and horrific test of our promise of forever as one step closer to healing.

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