August 17, 2012


"Mommy, do you wememba when you comed to pick me up in Afwica and bwing me home?" my little 4 year old asked while he was happily spinning the wheels on his Lightening McQueen car.

"Yes, baby.  I sure do.  I'm so glad we brought you home."

For a moment, he looked happy and proud and then his whole face changed. 

"When I was in Congo, I didn't have no cars to pway with."

My heart sank.  Oh, sweet baby boy.  Miles rarely talks about the two years of his life he spent in the Congo before coming to be a part of our family.  When we talk to him about his birth country, we talk of how beautiful it is and how amazing the people are and we tell him wonderful things about the people who took care of him while we were waiting to come and get him.  But he still remembers the bad things.  As he gets older, he has begun to make sense of his life in Congo and sometimes he tells me stories about it- like today when he told me with such sadness that he "didn't have no cars".  He remembers.

Every little boy should have a car to play with.  There are times in my house when there are so many cars rolling around on the floor it looks like an elaborate booby trap that kid on Home Alone would design.  I step on them and kick them and sometimes mutter under my breath that one day I'm just going to pick them all up and throw them away!

But Miles loves every single one of them.  They each have a name.  He knows where every one of them is at all times.  He spends hours and hours lining them up, inspecting their wheels, and driving them all over the house.  I always thought that is seems like little boys are just born knowing how go "vroom vroom" when they see a car/truck/tractor.  Now, I realize that maybe that comes as a result of opportunity.  When I heard my tiny, car lovin' little man talk about how he didn't have something that means the world to him now- I can't help but think about the millions of little boys around the world who don't have a little, toy car to push around. 

Or food in their bellies.  Or a warm blanket to cover up with at night.  Or a roof over their heads.  Or a mommy to tuck them in and greet them in the morning.  Or, or, or.

Sometimes in the rush of our every day lives, we forget the magnitude.  The magnitude is enormous.

Because I know, that same little boy who at one time lived on the street and who is worried about how he didn't have a toy car will one day turn that conversation into:

"Mommy, do you remember when you comed to pick me up in Afwica to bring me home?"

"Yes, baby.  I sure do.  I'm so glad we brought you home."

"When I was in Congo, I didn't have a mommy and daddy."

Sometimes the gravity and reality is heavy.  The hurts are real and tangible and present.  The magnitude is enormous.

Meeting Miles- Feb. 2010

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