July 24, 2005

Welcome

From the moment he set foot inside the Oregon Convention Center, he had "dear-in-the-headlight" eyes. All these people, and so many of them seemed to know each other. So much welcome, so much friendship and love....

This is very different for him. Last week, he was essentially kicked out of not one, but two different homes; homes of family members who, for whatever reason, can no longer take care of him. He found himself in my house, and, within a few days, on his way to Portland. He's only 15.

After the opening worship service last night, I told him I'd take him to the youth after-session. When we arrived, he still had those wide eyes, despite the fact that he was exhausted after our long drive to Portland which had begun at 5:30 that morning. I started introducing him to people, some youth from other churches who I knew. Then I told him that I was going to go downstairs to the Northern California-Nevada regional reception, and be back for him a little later. "Don't be long," he said.

I didn't stay long at the regional reception. There were too many people, and I couldn't even get in the door to the room where it was being held. (I wasn't too disappointed --- such gatherings really aren't this introvert's cup of tea, no matter how wonderful the people present.) So I was back to the youth room within ten minutes. I looked for him, and couldn't find him at first. Then I saw him, being dragged along by some of the other youth, a big smile on his face. He passed by, looked at me, and said, "You don't have to worry about me anymore. I'm OK!" And off he went. He had been welcomed into the church.

I ended up waiting for him for an hour. Then, a little after 11, weary yet excited, we headed back to our hotel.

3 comments:

jo(e) said...

I was reading this thinking, gosh, this story about the fifteen-year-old boy seems familiar, and then it occurred to me that another blog I read must be written by your wife! (I am a bit slow to make these connections.)

Glad to hear things are going well.

Purple Hydrangea said...

I am glad he had a "dear" in the headlight look, rather than a "deer"... I think it is a typo but I feel it is a better fit! Glad he is fitting in. Hope things are going well. All my love to the family.

Danny said...

Too funny ... maybe I should go back and fix the typo, but then again, maybe not!