We had the delight of watching Jake* as Host Parents with Safe Families. At the beginning of the week, we learned that there was a mother having a C-section who needed a place for her eight year old son to stay for a few days while she was in the hospital. We were told that because of difficult circumstances, Jake’s mom didn’t have anyone to help her, and that Jake would likely be a bit shy when he came. That was all we knew.
Jake showed up at our door Thursday morning, smiling away. He was very polite and very eager to play. Within minutes of being here, he was hard at work preparing me lunch with the play kitchen, and chatting up a storm. Over the next three days, Jake coloured, played hide and seek with our three year old, did woodworking with my husband, and proclaimed “this is awesome! I’m so lucky” every night before bed. He asked if he could sweep the floor after lunch and proudly announced that he made pancakes Saturday morning. He thought sleeping on the living room couch was great because he could hear the cars.
Jake’s mom had sent along a few notes on his normal routine and eating habits, and the familiarity seemed to help him. Jake was able to visit his mom and meet his new sister in the hospital, and was able to speak with her on the phone a few times. Although he missed her, he was cooperative and quick to follow instructions. We were delighted to find him polite and engaging.
We have two little girls, so an eight year old boy was certainly new territory, but we were struck by how easily he fit into our regular schedule. We have been blessed by a church family who has supported us and helped us through the birth of our children and the many ups and downs of family life. We have seen the Lord provide for us through our brothers and sisters. To then be able to invite someone else into our home to bless them was a precious experience. We love because God first loved us! I am humbled to see how simply living out our everyday life as Christians, in obedience to the Lord, was a source of such fun and joy to a child who had nowhere else to go. The weekend with Jake was, for the most part, like most of our weekends—we had pizza for supper and family time on Friday night. We had breakfast in our pajamas on Saturday morning. We went to church on Sunday. And we let someone else do it with us. Inviting Jake into our lives was a help to his mother, a fun weekend for him, and a joy for us.
Jake was able go home Sunday after church with his mom and baby sister. He was happy to go home but is looking forward to some future Saturday visits with my husband, whom he really took to. We will continue to be in touch with Jake and his mom. They will be receiving ongoing support through the gift of meals and groceries from people in our church.
*Name changed for privacy reasons.