Wednesday, September 07, 2005


Monday we went up to my brother’s place for Labor Day. Their cat had kittens not long ago so the cousins gave Emily a fluffy little calico. Geneva, my sis-in-law, thought it was a male. I knew, and she didn’t, how rare and valuable male calico cats are. Well, neither of us are anatomy or physiology experts so we couldn’t make a definitive decision on whether this is a normal cat or some rare gem.

Either way, Emily had her new kitten, named Fleabags, to replace Charlie. She put him in a box in the back of the van and we set off for home.

All the way home Steven sat behind me making far less noise than normal, something mysterious and sad setting off all my mom-radar alarms.
"Steven, is something wrong?"
"Is something bothering you?"

Paul was taking the boys to a baseball game five minutes after we came home but I was certain something was really wrong with Steven, and I was determined to dig it out of him. I hauled him into the office and asked him again.

Finally, in a sad little voice, the truth came out. He felt so bad, he said, that Emily’s kitten was taken away from its mother.

Every so often a curtain draws aside and we catch a glimpse of the grief Steven carries. It was torturous to look in his eyes because, of course, he was reliving his separation from his own mother, an event that must have happened when he was four or five and that we (and he) still know very little about.

What could I say? I held him tight and he cried a little bit. I reassured him with hollow-sounding promises that Emily will take good care of Fleabags and God is going to use the terrible things that happened to him to always give him a heart for children and animals and anyone less fortunate.

But honestly, what can you do and say when no words or anything else will make everything all better?

He went to the baseball game and enjoyed it and seemed to recover his spirits.

We are trusting that God will keep his promises and bring Steven beauty for the ashes of his early childhood and the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.

Quote of the Day:
"Mom, I don’t have any scars on my right hand any more, so if I go to a baseball game I don’t know which hand to put over my heart."


  1. Oh Dorcas!! That little boy is such a sweet-heart, and has been through so much in his life already. I am so thankful that he is in YOUR home, where I know he is covered with the love and security he needs. God bless you all!!

  2. Today's post has left a lump in my throat. These orphans have a grief I will never be able to say "I understand." Other a-moms tell me that you do just what you did: hold them close and cry with them. It's hard to not be able to "fix" their hurts. Have you read anything that Michelle Gardner has written? They adopted from China, Russia, Ethiopia, and India and the books are excellent.

  3. I'm so sorry for Steven, all the other like him out there.

  4. Dorcas,
    First let me say how much I enjoy reading your blog and all the day to day happenings in your family.
    I was moved to comment today after reading about Steven.
    God bless him and you and yours!!!
    You guys are great!!!

  5. I actually cried reading this. The poor little boy! Thank God he has you for his mama now. I pray that Go will give you extra wisdom for the days and years ahead

  6. at first i was giggling aloud and suddenly you told about how steven reacted - well i am still wiping tears that our adorable little fleabags gave steven such a sense of emptiness. i adore steve with all my heart and would love to erase those sad memories - give him an extra hug from his auntie geneva.