“One of my favorite things that my mom used to do was put a warm towel around me after I got out of the shower. She knew I was going to be cold and put it in the dryer. Then she took it out quickly and wrapped it around me. It was a wonderful warm feeling. Then she would hold me.” Josh recalls this favorite memory of his mom as he was thinking about his upcoming birthday. He does not have many memories, so what he does have are very special to him. Josh’s mom had been sick most of his childhood. One fall afternoon, he laid down beside her so they could take a nap together. When he woke up, Josh learned that his mom had died in her sleep. He was only six years old at the time and did not understand what was going on when the medics covered her body in a sheet and drove off with her.
Josh’s father, grief stricken, lost all hope and was not able take care of himself, much less his son. Josh was home one afternoon when some of his dad’s friends began banging at the door. They saw exhaust fumes coming from under the garage door. Little did Josh know that his father was trying to end his life. Fortunately, he was unsuccessful, but quickly realized that he was not able to take care of his son.
Soon after, Josh came to live at Miracle Hill Children’s Home. From the moment he came on campus he has smiled and entertained all around him. He has a beautiful singing voice and a sense of humor to match. With his lively personality also came typical boy mischief. If there was a prank to be pulled, Josh was behind it. If there was a corny joke to be told, Josh knew it. Friendships have never been difficult for him because he loves being around people. School, on the other hand, has been a challenge because he wants to spend most of his time being the class clown.
Josh and several of his housemates found themselves in trouble one evening. Instead of the immediate consequences that a frustrated parent might give, these boys learned a lesson on grace and forgiveness. One of his houseparents began talking to them about their behavior and becoming a follower of Christ. By the time the talk was over, Josh became so convicted of his sin, that he gave his heart to Christ that night. Josh didn’t just say a prayer and then go back to his usual behaviors. He put his new faith into action. He went to school the next day and apologized for his disruptive behavior at school. He began to tell other children about a loving Heavenly Father that forgave him of his sins and will forgive them too!
Josh doesn’t talk much about his mom. He doesn’t want to cry in front of others or go to that sad place in his memories. When Josh told me the story of his mother’s death, all I could think of was that his mom was holding her precious baby boy in her arms as she passed from this world. As a mom, this had to give her a tremendous peace.
Josh is no longer an orphan. He has not been legally adopted yet, but he will always have a family at Miracle Hill. This was very apparent at his recent birthday party where he was excited about becoming a teenager. One staff member made the layered chocolate cake he had been talking about for weeks, while another decorated the house with colorful decorations. His favorite meal…pizza… was on the menu and many of his friends were there. It can be difficult for a child to celebrate his birthday in foster care, away from family and friends. Josh has lots friends and Miracle Hill, but he does miss his mom and dad. Josh will be leaving this family soon and will be going to live with a forever family. Our love and prayers go with him. We will always remember the child that made us laugh, cry, and sing a joyful song!