School Books, Faith, and the Love of a Parent
Many of you know the kids started school last Monday. If you kept up with any of our blogs this time last year, you know that getting the kids all ready for school is no small thing (click here to read about it). There is specific fabric to be bought for each uniform, a seamstress to be hired to make the uniforms, barrettes, ribbon, hair grease, shoes, and the hardest thing of all….books. Each school puts out a different list of books needed for each grade level. To give you an idea of how immense this is for me, we have 30 kids in 3 different schools in 10 different grade levels…..that’s a lot of different book lists! Each list typically contains from 10-15 books. Every year at this time, trying to get all the kid’s books becomes all-consuming for me. It is a huge task and takes several weeks to complete (books are bought mostly in the out door market here and Lener goes from seller to seller trying to find all of the books and the best price). I try my best to send the kids off to their first day of school with all of their books but it is next to impossible. Then they are immediately at me telling me what books they are missing and still need. It is overwhelming, time consuming, and I honestly feel like I get worse and worse at it every year. That is until something happened the other night.
The story I am about to share may seem small but to me it spoke volumes about our kids and their faith in me. After we put Sophie to bed, Matt went to pick up the kids and bring them back to our house for our nightly service together. He was gone much longer than usual and I of course assumed one or more of the kids had gotten in trouble. He told me the reason it took a while is because Marco stopped him on his way to get the kids. Marco is a security guard for a neighboring organization and also someone our older boys have gotten to know. Everyone in this community knows him and he is actually the person that helped Matt find the rent houses for the kids and us. Apparently Marco pulled Matt aside to say he needed my help finding school books for his kids. There were still 4 books he just couldn’t find and the word in the community was that Jessica Bush could find them! Matt told me this and I laughed out loud. I still had about 30 books I was missing for our kids and I had been at it for 2 weeks at this point!
Then I stopped to think about the how this rumor about me must have started. It had to have come from our kids. In fact the more I thought about it I’m pretty sure it specifically came from Apolon. He must have told Marco “Jess can find them! She can find any book!”. This may seem like something small but coming from Apolon or any of our kids for that matter it shows an enormous amount of faith and trust that I will do what they need me to do for them. With most of our kids and Apolon specifically, we have had to work hard to make them understand we will do anything for them and always be here for them. We have seen Apolon’s trust and love grow for us but have had to work at it. Another example in addition to this story is when he volunteered Matt to bake a cake for his class at school last year. Click here to read about a crazy day Matt had this past February. This kind of faith and trust does not come easy for a group of kids who have been abandoned by their parents and moved from orphanage to orphanage often times being abused and exploited.
I grew up in a home where I could have that kind of faith in my parents. I always knew they would take care of my every need. This is the kind of faith that I want Sophie to have in me and it is also the faith I want our kids to have. I watch Sophie as she is crawling everywhere, pulling up on everything, and even trying to stand on her own (she can’t do it yet but she thinks she can). She has no idea how many times I am there to catch her if she falls and keep her from hurting herself. She has a blind faith in me that I am always there to protect her. So many of our kids have never had this kind of faith in a parent and sometimes as I watch Sophie, I hurt over this for our kids. It’s hard to even think about how many times they must have fallen as small children without someone there to catch them or even pick them back up. I am so thankful God called us to these kids and allows us to show them what it means to count on someone to take care of you and to catch you when you fall.