Friday, November 19, 2010

When they grow up

The other day I was talking with an older teenage boy at Casa Hogar Douglas about what he wanted to be when he grew up. I said, "well one day you could go to high school and then on to college and study something. You could be part of the Hope Program and live at Back2Back. What would you like to be when you go up?" He said really honestly, "well you see it's hard. I'm the oldest of my siblings here. And I have this aunt." At this point, my heart sank and I knew what he was about to say. He was about to say that this distant family member who won't even visit him at the children's home, doesn't pick him up for holidays, or anything of that nature - is going to invite him to live with her as soon as he is old enough to work and help her out. That's exactly what he proceeded to describe. He is one of the few who never leaves the home, never has a visitor, and is a "double orphan" - as in both mom and dad are dead. He said that his aunt told him that as soon as he finished junior high school, he could live with her and work with her and help the family. He just kept saying, "it's hard Caroline." I've heard this before. And I said, "You know, you have options here. You are the one that is in control. The control is yours. I think you should talk to some of the boys that are already in our Hope Program and who are studying to get great jobs. A lot of them had the same hard decision to make when they were your age. Their aunt or uncle said that they could come live with them and work instead of go to college but they chose to go to college and now have way better jobs and now can help out their family financially so much more because they went to high school and college." It was as if he had never, ever thought of that option. Pray for him (name will be kept hidden for his privacy - these sweet children have little privacy - sorry) and for all the children we serve who are like him and have tough decisions to make that will forever affect their futures. Pray that seemingly selfish family members wouldn't try to take advantage of them in their desperation.

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