Along this journey of adoption there are great days, hard days, busy days, crazy days and very unpredictable days. This past Saturday I found myself in one of those unpredictable days where a situation stopped me in my tracks and made me realize just how much I love my kids. A day where someone said something to make me know of my deep love for the six blessings that have been entrusted to me.
Lindsay, Garrett, and Tia had a soccer game (football game if you ask Garrett) and so we as a family headed out to the field along with some friends who were visiting with us for the weekend. We got our chairs all set up and the kids started to play. Tia and Lindsay are really having fun playing soccer this season and Garrett is not only having a blast but he is a really good soccer player. This week was no different than the past few weeks Garrett started on offense and pretty quickly scored a goal. It is so much fun to see the joy on his face as he kicks and then watches the ball enter the goal- It never will get old watching his sheer joy when he scores!
Now Garrett is a very fast and somewhat aggresive soccer player from his years at the orphanage where all they had was one small ball to play with. He spent most of his days playing soccer on a small concrete driveway surrounded by four walls and many kids fighting for the ball. This comes out on the soccer field from time to time but it has never been an issue, he just plays hard and usually ends up with the ball.
This week during the game Garrett was playing hard and as he was playing hard he tripped a player from the other team. The referee blew his whistle and stopped play to allow the other team to kick the ball due to the violation. As the referee blew his whistle several of the parents from the other team started yelling, "Cheater! That kid is a cheater!" At first I wasn't sure I heard them correctly but about the tenth time they repeated themselves I knew that what I thought they were saying was indeed what they were saying. I then saw their coach say a few not nice things to the referee about my son and I knew that I must do something.
I very quickly got up from my seat and just knew in my heart that if the parents who were calling my son a cheater knew his situation then they would understand and quickly stop calling him names. I walked over to the four parents who were yelling and said very calmly, "Excuse me, but that is my son and he hasn't been with us very long. He spent the last few years in an orphanage in Ethiopia and he is continuing to learn the rules that we use here in soccer." Before I could even finish one of the fathers said in a very hateful voice, "I don't care where he is from, get him off of the field now!" As my body began to shake I turned and as quickly as I could and I walked back to my seat trying to hold back my tears.
As I sat back down I replayed what had just taken place. I looked beside me and our precious Megan was fighting back tears as she said, "Mom, I am going to cry. Why would someone be so mean?" I answered her by saying, "Megan, people aren't always going to understand. It is my job to stand up for Garrett in this situation but when people mistreat us we must turn the other cheek and be Christ like. All we can do is be nice and hope that our kindness will bring about change." Even as I spoke those words my shaking would not stop. My heart was breaking for my son that I love with all that I am.
As the game continued so did the shouting. It changed to them yelling things like, "Take him out", "Trip him" and many other very mean things. I sat quietly praying that Garrett would be protected from their ugly words and thankfully he was. He had no idea what they were yelling or even that they were yelling at him. He continued to play his very best and you better believe that when he scored the next goal I was on my feet yelling for him!
As the game went on I started thinking about the words that had been spoken to me- The words........I don't care. I know that so many really don't care about anything more than themselves, their kids, and their own comfort. I see it everyday, yet I don't know that I have ever had another adult actually speak the words- I don't care. Most people really don't care and even if it is unspoken it is clearly seen by how they live their lives.
I hope that by the way I live my life people will know that I do care! Are my actions matching my words? I thought about that as my body continued to shake. On Saturday their words were matching their actions in a negative way but it made me stop and thing about my own life..........I do care and I want it to show!
What about in your life? Do you care or would others conclude that you don't care when they look at your life? Just a little something to think about-
In case you wanted to know.........Our team won and after the game a player from the other team came over and called Garrett a cheater...... Guess who that players parents were? Our kids are always watching and learning- Do your kids know you care so that they can follow or are we raising a generation who says- I Don't Care?