I want to start by giving everyone the chance to read all of the other blogs we have written introducing you to each of our children. This has been a fun series to write and hopefully a fun series to read as well and we hope you are really getting a chance to know each of the kids that you help us take care of. Anyway, I will link to each child’s blog, all you have to do is click on their name to read it!
Today, it is my pleasure to introduce you to Maekin. Usually we begin by talking about each child’s remaining family whether that be parents, cousins, grandparents, etc. In this case, Maekin is Malayika’s brother and we have already described everything we know about their family in the previous blog, just click here and read the second paragraph to learn about Maekin’s family. In every other way, Malayika and Maekin could not be more different…
Maekin is very smart, but we did not realize this until we hired our tutors. He has absolutely thrived in this new environment of coming home, studying, and getting help from people who know how to supplement what he learned in school. In fact, last year, Maekin got one of the highest grades of any of our children! We used to think Maekin was a little shy, but we have learned he is absolutely not. We used to think that Maekin was not too athletic, and we have since learned that he is a very good soccer player for his age. We used to think that he did not care that much about getting attention and affection from us, and we have since learned that he needs it as much or more than any other child who lives with us. In fact, since we began taking care of these children, Maekin may have changed more than anyone. I think it is because his age held him back at the old place. He was not young enough to be one of the “cute ones” that others took care of, and he was not old enough to really stand up for himself against the older children. I think in many ways Maekin was left out and was not taken care of before we came and he is just now becoming the person he was always created to be.
I will also say that Maekin is one of our cutest kids. He has a wonderful smile, a contagious personality, and he is just nice to everyone. I remember when we were at the old place and we thought that Maekin was a little shy and did not care that much about getting affection from us. We had been gone for a couple of months, and when we got back I could not walk anywhere without Maekin just hanging on my leg. It was the first time that he really showed how much he missed us and needed us, and it was like he just did not know how to seek out my attention appropriately. Instead, he just stayed as close as he could to me for the entire day, he hung on my leg with a death grip, and he kept trying to do things to make me laugh or to get my attention. I remember this because it was the first time we (and I mean Jessica, Maekin, and me) realized that Maekin really did love us and really did need us. Now that we are at Hope Rising, Maekin is just Maekin. He hugs us all of the time, he is affectionate towards us, and it is evident that he loves us and that he is loved and cared for. In fact, Maekin loves the fact that Jessica tucks him in every night. He used to wrap himself up in his own blanket and Jess would just come by and kiss him on the cheek and tell him good night. One night Jessica realized that he was basically tucking himself in so she stopped him, had him lay down, and tucked his flannel blanket all around him (it is 90 degrees every night and it is weird that he always has a flannel blanket tucked around him but that is beside the point). When Jess did this the first night, Maekin just got this huge smile on his face like it was the best thing that had ever happened to him, and that is how you know he loves something. He is not loud with his thanks where he hangs all over you or says a lot, but he gets this smile on his face that is better than anything else he could do and you know you just made him happy. Every night that Jessica is there, she tucks him in, and every night she gets that “Maekin smile” that I wish everyone could experience.
Maekin has grown and matured since he has been at Hope Rising, but he has never outgrown being nice and I do not think he ever will. He did have a bit of a hard time with the initial transition to Hope Rising. At the old place Maekin had 2 best friends and many of you who have been with All Things New for awhile will remember them…Richadeley and Lokwinky. He always played with them, they were always together, and they were a source of comfort for each other. However, Lokwinky and Richadeley both had parents who lived close by and did not come with us to Hope Rising. This was a sad thing for Maekin, but he has made new friends and he has a lot of things that he would not have had otherwise. We have all had to move away from best friends, and it is always difficult, but Maekin has made the transition well.
A few other things about Maekin, he loves to play with toy cars! If you come into the boys’ pod during free time, you will almost always see him crawling around the ground with his toy motorcycle or with the matchbox cars. Maekin is very smart and has the potential to do VERY well in school. This was one of the first things his tutor, Violenne, told us when she started working with our younger kids. But the best thing about Maekin is that he is just a good, nice, and sweet boy. He looks after others, makes sure they are included, and he truly loves other people. I am so glad that GOD brought him into this new environment before he lost any of this because it is one of the best things about him. We cannot wait to see where GOD takes this incredible young boy and we hope each of you get to come down and meet Maekin.