Thursday, August 28, 2008

Met expectations.

I spent the day with Dea yesterday because of a dentist appointment. Technically, he was done at noon but his dentist is clear on the other side of town and running a few errands on the way home gave us the opportunity to hang out with a doctor's excuse.

Hey, it's not like this is my first rodeo. I was at my beloved Klein High School just a few short years ago (or 18) and I know a thing or two about working the system.

He's really a great kid. He's funny, polite, and a little awkwardly thankful for anything that's done for him. I loved getting some time with just he and Sadie to talk and laugh and learn more about his life before he came to live with us and what he wants it to look like beyond high school.

Before his dentist appointment, we had to stop by the shelter where his parents are living to pick up his Medicaid forms so he could give them to his dentist. Dea said that in his 17 years, he had never seen his dad work even one day.

I've told you before what an incredible work ethic Dea has. He's never missed a day and is both on time and willing to stay later if needed. I've never heard him once complain about having to work or being scheduled on a Friday and Saturday night when most of his friends are hanging out. He's also saved almost every penny he's earned and now has more money in the bank than he's ever seen before, except maybe the money stuffed into the dashboard of the dealer they knew from their old apartments.

When we went to pick up his paperwork from his father, I waited in the car and Dea went to the corner where they had arranged to meet. I didn't see what transpired but after just a minute, Dea was back in my car ready to go. He had a look in his eyes of both disappointment and confirmed expectations.

"What did he say, bud?"

"He shook my hand and asked me if I had any money for him. I told him 'no' so he handed me the paper and walked off."

I wanted to scream. For once in this kid's life, I want his father to be a father to him. To look him in the eye and see what we see. To be proud of him without asking for money, or beer, or cigarettes.

There is a great need in this community for fathers. We've got more 'baby daddy's' than we know what to do with but few of them know what it means to be a father. The result shows up in the eyes of a son who, even when he's learned to have no expectations, he can't help but hope that, one day, it will be different.

Thank you, Lord, that you are a Father to the fatherless and promise not to do harm but to give us a future and a hope.


Jennifer said...

This absolutely breaks my heart. I'm so thankful that you are there to love on him.

Sarah said...

Oh, how heartbreaking! It is so cool to see the power of God at work in those boys' lives....the influence of your background CAN be overpowered!

I'm glad you got some "alone time" with him. :-)

kristin cowden said...

ok, i follow your blog religiously, and i never really leave comments...BUT ...thank you Lord for the Hill family! Thank you Lord that you have breathed into them a passion and a hunger for the things that delight you! Thank you Lord for Melissa and Trey that they are making an eternal impact on lives that will change the next generation. Bless you sweet family!

Henley on the Horn said...

HOw heartbreaking. Thank you for always sharing your stories. They are an inspiration to all of us to DO something, not just talk about what needs to be done in our communities. I am so thankful Dea has you & Trey & that you all can tell him that YOU are proud of him!! I am sad that all his dad wants is money. Too sad. I am a friend of Mary Linda's & Amy W's:) & lived in Dallas when we were first married! We miss it!

Susan said...

Breaks my heart to imagine the hurt in his eyes. Dea and Darius are just where the Lord wants them to learn to break the "baby daddy" cycle and live/work for the kingdom...not beer money. Bless you all sweet Hills!
I need another Aspen fix about about you??

Jess said...

Oh, how heartbreaking for him.

I am so thankful that our Jesus is a chain breaker and that he's put your family in Dea's life to break the chains around him and the cycles he was born into!!

Mrs. Troop said...

Wow. So grateful that the Lord put YOU there to say you are proud of him.
I think I'll go hug my kids.
And my dad.
And my husband.
Happy Friday!

Rachael said...

I am so thankful for your ministry and the difference you are making in the lives of the families in your 'hood. I stalk your blog, but have never commented. My husband and I love to read your entries each night when he makes it home from work. We have recently had the discussion about what a difference it would make if father's would be father's. I thank God for you guys!!!

Stacy Ann said...

What a precious, wonderful boy!! So grateful that he has your family there for him!

Tracey said...

This breaks my heart. But praise God for putting your family in this young mans life and bring him hope!

Anonymous said...

I am another faithful follower/non-commenter, however I had to speak up on this one!! Bless you and your husband for loving on that boy for Jesus.


Jennifer Morgan said...

After getting the Alexanders pic, I came to "visit". You are truly a blessing for Dea. I wish you lived here in Boston. I would enjoy learning from you.

Holli said...

sad..... boys(and girls) need a parent to be able to look at them with pride and love.... and that is why God brought you and Trey into the boys life! One day Dea will look into The Fathers eyes and see nothing but love- He will open his arms and say WELL DONE MY SON!
will be praying for the boys parents!

Candy said...

Praise the Lord that in His kindness He has allowed you and Trey to be the "father to the fatherless" and to show Dea and Darius His better way.
We love you all so much. Grateful to be home with hearts still in Ethiopia.