Some months ago a strong willed, stubborn, completely obstinate little boy came to Miracle Hill Children’s Home. After being here a few minutes, he looked at me and said, with his arms folded, head down, and stomping his feet to the floor, “I hate you. I hate this place. I’m not going to do anything you tell me and you can’t make me.” I can’t use his real name in this story, but my nickname for him is Sweet “Charlie” Baby. Sweet Baby taught me many things during his stay at the children’s home. I grew stronger as a Christian and prayer warrior because he came into my life. His strong personality was a struggle for me as I realized how much we were alike. This frustrated me because I can have that same strong willed, stubborn, somewhat obstinate personality. I found myself saying things like, “I’ve said this a hundred times and you are not listening”. I heard a gentle voice saying, “uhh…I’ve told you the same thing.” My reply, “Yes, Lord. I know”.
One of the sweetest lessons taught to me was the power of a hug. One morning, we were struggling to get his shoes on before the bus came. It was a challenge to keep him focused on task. We became frustrated. He buried his face in his hands and began to cry. I took a deep breath, and gave him a hug. We began again and completed the task. I sat on the living room sofa, as I gave a sigh. Sweet Baby came over to me and said, “Ms. Tonya, do you know why I was crying a few minutes ago. . . I just wanted a hug.” I told him he never had to misbehave to get a hug, just ask. I picked him up and gave him a huge hug and kiss on the cheek. After this day, when Sweet Baby would misbehave, I would pick him up and give him a hug. His behavior quickly changed and our relationship grew close. I had come to love him like my little boy and I could not imagine my life without him . . . and that was a problem.
I wanted to adopt Sweet Charlie Baby and be his mom forever. When I realized this was not the Lord’s plan for either of us, I prayed with him for a good adoptive family. Our nightly prayers were, “Dear Lord, please give Sweet Charlie Baby a mommy and a daddy where he will be spoiled with love, taken care of, taught about you and a family that will let he and his siblings be together. Let them be a family who has a son, cousins or neighbors with a son close in age. Let his dad be a superhero to Sweet Baby who would love playing with cool superheros like Spiderman and Batman. Let his dad help him build a clubhouse in their backyard so he can have his friends come over to play. Let his mommy be a Godly woman who will pray with him, read to him. And dear Lord, please let me always be a part of Sweet Baby’s life, no matter where he is.”
Eventually, I received a message from a family. The lady told me about her and her husband’s journey and how the Lord was leading them to adopt children from foster care. Everywhere they went, the Lord placed people in their lives that had amazing adoption stories. Now, they have one too! They became Sweet Charlie Baby’s Forever Family.
Charlie attended a summer camp where he and a life guard became instant friends. The life guard called his sister and said, “I’ve met my future nephew. His name is Charlie, and you are going to love him.” This Godly woman went to an adoption website and found he and his siblings in a picture. She told her husband and both told their parents. They believed the Lord was calling them to adopt these children. For a long time, this family prayed for these specific children.
When I first learned the family was adopting him, I told Charlie he “would be getting a new family soon, exactly like we had been praying for.” Sweet baby began telling everyone he met that he was getting an adoptive family. One friend asked him to tell about the family. His response was, “I don’t know anything about them. I just know they are exactly what we have been praying for.” Sweet Baby met his forever family and his life, nor theirs, nor mine, will ever be the same.
Charlie is doing very well and is so excited to be with his new family. The Lord did answer our prayers for his family. His dad is a real life hero by his service and vocation to others. His mom is a Godly woman and she does love praying with her son. Sweet Baby’s room is covered in Spiderman. Siblings will live with them. They have a new next door neighbor whose son is the same age as a Sweet Baby. They will be building the clubhouse soon. And, my favorite part of this story . . . I am now known as Aunt Tonya and I will always get to be a part of Sweet Baby’s life.