I was in Sunday School today when across from me was the daughter of a friend. My heart was breaking for her as she was sobbing uncontrollably. My first inclination was to run over and hug her but she was sitting by her dad. Just the fact that she was in the adult class and not in the class for 4 year olds and that her dad was ignoring her cries, told me that there was something going on that I knew nothing about. This adorable little face would look over at me not as if wanting help but with true sadness. After a time she stopped sobbing and sat quietly. I then saw her dad's arm go around her shoulders and he whispered in her ear. She nodded to him. Her mother was in the hall watching after the baby as he was too noisy for the classroom. Her dad motioned to mom and then whispered to mom when she came into the room. Happily the little girl and her mom went off to her class.
When church was over, I had a chance to speak to the little girl's mother. This is a very special family. Mom and dad were unable to have children of their own so they have adopted 4 wonderful kids. Two of them they got at birth but the other two came somewhat older. Their oldest girl was almost to her teen years and this little 4 year old has been the last to join their family. As I had assumed, there was a bigger story to the sobbing in our class.
It seems that the little girl was not being very reverent during another part of church. She had been given many chances to correct her behavior but ended up choosing wrong and then defying her father to the point of having to be disciplined. Her discipline was that she had to sit with dad and miss a very fun game in her Sunday School class.
The "more" to this story is about the sad life this girl has had to endure up to this point. She had been in way too many foster homes. She is a spirited little girl and head strong but very bright. None of the foster homes to this point bothered to help her in a way that she needed help. She needed someone to love her and teach her about making good choices. She needed a stable life, one with structure and love. She luckily has finally found that home.
I asked her mom if she tested the waters with this little girl before they made the decision to adopt her (which will be official next month). Her mom said that she really didn't want to adopt another child as they already had 3 with the youngest being newborn when they got him last year and the oldest in his upper teens. Both mom and dad are getting older and she was concerned about age and time and all of the things that parent's are concerned about. Anyway, this girl was presented to them. They took her out to lunch one day to let her get to know them and they her. Mom said from the very beginning they knew that she was to be a member of their family. They spent two trial weekends together and from then on, she has been with their family as a member.
I will remember this day for a long time. I see that beautiful little face looking at me sobbing from sadness but then I saw her loving parents teaching her about choices. I hope she will remember this day. Knowing her zest for life, I am sure there will be many more sobbing times in her life but thankfully, now she has someone that won't give up on her...her parents will be there through thick and thin. Thank goodness for loving families that are willing to share their love with others. This has been such a testimony of unselfish love and I am grateful to have been a witness of this one small snippet of life.