Friday, May 20, 2011

A special birthday

He came to live here at the orphanage in April 2008 after a pastor in his village became aware of his situation. His mother had passed away the previous year, and his aging grandma was attempting to care for him and his younger sister. Grandma, however, was unable to deal with an angry, confused boy and his baby sister. The pastor's first encounter with this boy was during church services: the boy would run through the church aisles, kicking the parishioners in the shins during worship. The pastor had heard of this orphanage, and recommended to the grandmother that both children come to us. When it was time to pick them up, it was difficult, because the boy had climbed a tree and would not come down.

At the orphanage, he would run away from his new mama. He would pick fights, and when disciplined, he would kick, scream, and bite. Often, he would do the exact opposite of what was asked of him. He threw things and broke items. He was a handful, for sure. But it soon became apparent that he craved consistency. He needed order, firmness, and love. He needed to know that the boundaries were the same everyday, and that he was not in control. He needed to learn that he was a little boy who could depend on the adults in his life. He was also extremely bright, and he needed to be challenged intellectually, also.

This wild little boy just turned seven years old. For those of us who have watched this angry fella' get to this point in his life, it is a wonder and a joy! Putting the alphabet and phonics together into learning to read was a turning point for him. He reveled in sounding out words for himself, and enjoyed the challenge of mastering sentences. This all made sense to him, and opened up a much bigger world. He is now a happy little boy.

He has come into his own. He is one of the best readers in his class. Often during reading time during school, he has two books open: the one the class is following and the book he has checked out from the library. The reader that the class is reading is not challenging enough for him, so he has another book he is reading simultaneously, careful not to lose his place in the school reader. After class, he tutors a newer classmate, and he reads to his brothers at home.
He is taking piano lessons, too, and is one of the better piano players. He practices diligently everyday. He also loves to play soccer and he is good! He is incredibly fast and makes a great goalie. He hates for a ball to get past him! We keep this guy busy and engaged, as that is when he is happiest. From kicking worshippers to kicking field goals, he has made good progress!
He is a smart boy who has been chosen by God for great things. His constant frown of past years has been replaced by a smile of contentment and confidence. We praise God for bringing him to this place.