This weekend, we had an experience we have never had before.
While pulling into a Best Buy parking lot, we almost ran over a little boy that was walking around in a parking spot. We quickly looked around, searching for the adult that would, of course, be right nearby to snatch him up and keep him safe.
We watched him walk through the parking lot, pushing an empty cart right into the road. At that point, we all jumped out of the car, along with a few other adults, everyone searching for someone to claim the little boy.
No one came. He was all alone. No adults nearby. No one frantically searching for this wandering little boy.
Jake picked him up, after the other adults realized that we were a young family with little kids and were trustworthy to take the boy into Best Buy to wait for the police. As we were taking him inside, we hear a man talking with a woman pushing a cart with an Elmo balloon floating above it. The man was saying, "No, you are not taking him back. I just watched that boy walk away from you 9 times and you didn't even notice. You didn't do anything! We called the police and you need to wait for them to come."
This man was talking to the little boy's mother.
I am so thankful for that man, for standing up for this sweet little boy.
Jake convinced the mother to come inside of Best Buy with us, while we waited for the police.
It was pretty obvious that there was something wrong with the mother. She was strangely calm and didn't seem to be in her right mind. Jake said she seemed to be high on something.
While we waited for the police, which seemed to take a very long time, we played with the little boy. We learned that his name is Hayden, he is 2 1/2 and his birthday is in May. He has short blonde hair and blue eyes and the cutest little smile. He loved playing with my 3 kids and Lily, Jonah and Kate all helped to look after him and keep him safe.
After a while, it became very hard to keep my kids entertained in Best Buy (little kids around lots of breakable electronics?? Not a good mix.), so I decided to take the kids over to the Salvation Army store to look around and give them a better place to wait. We all said goodbye to Hayden and he gave my kids the biggest hugs. They were all sad to say goodbye to him.
Meanwhile, Jake stayed with Hayden. The police finally showed up and were talking to the mother and to Jake for quite a while.
Hayden really took to Jake. For close to 2 hours, Jake held him, played with him, talked to him, gave him a snack, and kept him safe. By the end, Hayden was almost falling asleep on Jake's shoulder. The whole time Hayden just wanted to stay with Jake- he didn't even want to go to his mother. He really loved Jake.
Finally, family members came and Hayden and his mother were released to go home with them. Hayden cried when Jake had to give him up.
Jake and I had a hard time thinking of anything else for the rest of the night. And the next day. And still today. We both wished so much that we could have just taken Hayden home with us and made him part of our family. It was a heartbreaking experience and I am certain that we will never forget it.
Jake and I have always talked about possibly adopting. It is close to Jake's heart because his younger brother and sister are both adopted. I have always been open to it and lately I have jokingly said "Jake let's adopt, I want another baby!" But I was saying that for the wrong reasons.
But this weekend changed everything. This weekend was my first real experience witnessing a child in need. A child that doesn't have a safe home. And I know that there are so many kids out there who's life is so much worse.
This weekend really opened my eyes to adoption and it really made me realize that kids don't need big houses or the newest toys or electronics. All they really need is a safe and loving home. A family that loves them unconditionally and raises them to be kind, loving, Godly adults.
And I realized that even though we don't have a ton of money or a big house, we do have lots of love to give. Lots and lots of love.
And because of that, Jake is making a phone call today. A phone call to get information to start us on the road to adoption. I can't say whether or not it will work out, but Jake and I both feel very strongly that meeting Hayden was God changing our hearts and showing us that it is time for us to take this seriously.
So, we are. We are starting the process and seeing where God leads us.
Maybe God was using Hayden to help another child that will someday become part of our family. Maybe not. But either way, Hayden has changed us and we pray that he is okay.
Please pray with us for Hayden and also for us as we begin this process.