Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Wheels on the Bus...

courtesy of photobucket.com
Chance placed us there at that very moment in time. Or maybe something more.

My wife and I stood with our children on the sidewalk outside the school as the buses pulled up through the drive for the afternoon commute.  The last bus stood directly in our path. 

We all saw her. 

She was a foster child who lived with us for a few months.  I hadn't seen her since June of 2009, but she didn't look much different than I remembered.  Medium length brown hair covered her head and small, oval spectacles sat atop her nose.  She wore a pink rain jacket underneath the large bookbag pressing her forward in the seat. 

A wave of nostalgia crashed into me. 

Into us all.

Most of our time with her challenged the outermost boundaries of our patience and faith.  She had been abused in every way a child could be and we were mostly overwhelmed in our attempts to make her one of us. 

But, as we stood there my thoughts wandered to one of the few, good days during our time together.  We all had traveled to Nashville to visit my brother's family, and on the way back stayed together in a hotel near Knoxville, TN with an indoor pool.  She had never stayed in a hotel before and marveled at the entire, fascinating concept-especially a swimming pool inside the walls. 

After checking in, the kids all begged to go swimming so I dragged myself and all our stuff down to the pool area.  She was always wary and distant towards me, but as we entered the shallow waters she clung close to my side fearful of this new uncertainty.  We all splashed around for a while and for some reason she asked if she could go deeper like the others. 

I told her to lay on her back and she did so cautiously.  I placed my hands under her and slowly pulled her around the outside edges of the other end.  She squealed with delight and for the first time she called me, "Daddy."  Perhaps she had said the word before, but I couldn't recall when.  I certainly didn't remember the warm, vulnerable tone and childish laughter, gently inviting me into a place she had worked so hard to obscure until that very moment in time.

It felt good. 

To me and her.

Other victories mostly escaped our grasp during her time with us.

But now, there she sat.  Her tiny image perched in the first seat by the window of that big, yellow bus.  As she looked up and saw us there she seemed startled for a moment.  Then she waved vigourously, as if doing so might rekindle the fire from a not so distant past, and fill the space between her and us.

Then, the friend beside her in the seat looked at her and quickly said something.  We all saw her response with amazing acuity:

"MY FAMILY," her lips said, revealing the question just asked by the little friend.

At once the bus roared away in the distance as guilt overwhelmed me-my blessings and bounty beyond the wildest imagination of most in this world. 

photobucket.com
Suddenly I felt like an indulgent King, warm and well fed, lounging by the crackling fire inside a royal palace.  While outside a cold and hungry vagrant peered longingly through the foggy window desperately soaking up the remnants of a life she could never have. 

And for my part, all I could do was look away to the dancing flames

and wish her well

on the rugged

and lonely road

that lay

ahead...

courtesy of photobucket.com

For interesting posts about the "road" click here

31 comments:

Louise Gallagher said...

Ahhh, Jeff. Whenever I see you here I think, "Oh yea! there he is."

And there you are, on this road, living it, experiencing it, sharing it and yourself.

Thank you.

Jeff Jordan said...

And to see you here, Louise, always reminds me that there are friends I may never see that I still will never forget:)

Glynn said...

This one brought tears to my eyes. I can imagine what you felt -- the joy. I can imagine what she felt -- the hope. For the brief time she was with you, you gave her hope. And that's a priceless gift.

Simply Darlene said...

Oh my land. This is a mish-mash of happy and sad all at once.

To be called "family" is one of the best gifts in the world.

(It's so good to see you here. You are missed when you are gone.)

Blessings.

Jeff Jordan said...

Glynn,
I really hope you are right. Glad you passed this way.

Darlene,
You are so right about the gift of family. So glad for mine...for God's...for the tie that binds us all in Him.

S. Etole said...

I'm with the others as my heart gives a little happy skip when I see your post pop up ...

what a moment you've captured with your poignant words ...

what a moment you've captured in her heart

Jeff Jordan said...

Susan, my posts always feel incomplete until you stop by;)

A Joyful Noise said...

"My family," she said, and she meant it with all her heart. You will perhaps never know how much impact your family had on this little girl. We took in a child of a friend, but the school would not allow us to enroll her in school unless we became Foster parents. So we did. Today she declares that we are her parents and that the 5 years she lived with us changed her life forever. Your child did not stay that long, but you taught her many things that she will never forget in that period of time. God Bless you and her too!

Jeff Jordan said...

Hazel,
I pray you are right. Thanks for stopping by.

Anne Lang Bundy said...

How you rise to the calling of foster parent I'll never know! It can only be that God gives the grace for what He asks.

I know with assurance that what you give each of these kids is part of God's plan for their lives. Stay the course, Jeff.

Jeff Jordan said...

I hope you are right, Anne.

Toyin O. said...

This is such a touching story, thanks for sharing.

Jeff Jordan said...

Thanks for stopping in, Toyin.

caryjo said...

Oh, Jeff... my heart just exploded for you and for her. If she knows she was loved... when she grows up and "knows" it, the Lord may use it to draw her to Himself and her new Dad... and who knows when she might reenter your life.

anewsong said...

Hello Jeff...I happened her by chance, and am glad I found you! I was one of those foster kids. You never know just HOW much even the smallest input can have. Thanks for sharing your story. I am convinced that is why God gave up prayer. It accomplishes what WE cannot do...even when we cannot see it!

Still, I understand the emotions

Jeff Jordan said...

anewsong,
thank you for stopping in. It sounds like you have accomplished much despite some difficult circumstances in your life. God bless you!

Simply Darlene said...

hoping everything is alright with you and yours... it's been a long time since we've seen ya.

blessings.

Jeff Jordan said...

Hey Darlene,
Good to hear from you. We've had some changes in our home. Have a couple of new kids that may turn into ours permanently. Looks like I'm getting a new hip this spring also...tough getting old:) Hope your house project turns out well...

Coach Factory said...

michael kors, true religion jeans, nike air max, air max, louboutin, nike air max, polo ralph lauren outlet, oakley sunglasses, prada outlet, ray ban sunglasses, louboutin, prada handbags, longchamp handbags, chanel handbags, oakley sunglasses, michael kors outlet online, true religion, michael kors handbags clearance, coach purses, toms shoes, coach factory, ray ban, louis vuitton outlet online, gucci outlet, michael kors, ray ban sunglasses, jordan shoes, tory burch outlet, burberry outlet online, coach outlet store, true religion outlet, nike shoes, michael kors outlet, nike free, michael kors outlet online, oakley sunglasses, kate spade handbags, louis vuitton handbags, kate spade outlet, longchamp outlet, air max, coach outlet, polo ralph lauren outlet, tiffany and co, cheap michael kors

Coach Factory said...

hollister, marc jacobs, nfl jerseys, abercrombie and fitch, north face jackets, lululemon, vans, giuseppe zanotti, yoga pants, timberland, birkin bag, ray ban pas cher, hermes, nike air max, hollister, beats by dre, ferragamo shoes, new balance shoes, air jordan, babyliss pro, mont blanc, mulberry, nike roshe run, mcm handbags, nike free, louis vuitton, michael kors, longchamp, air max, oakley pas cher, ralph lauren, wedding dresses, louis vuitton, ralph lauren, karen millen, hogan, instyler ionic styler, lancel, supra shoes, juicy couture outlet, louboutin, rolex watches, burberry, reebok outlet, nike free, converse shoes, juicy couture outlet, louis vuitton, montre pas cher, north face outlet

Coach Factory said...

oakley sunglasses outlet, canada goose, oakley vault, asics gel, ghd, oakley sunglasses outlet, canada goose outlet, moncler outlet, cheap oakley sunglasses, moncler, moncler, oakley outlet, valentino shoes, ralph lauren, oakley sunglasses cheap, cheap sunglasses, oakley vault, ugg boots, soccer jerseys, ugg boots, cheap sunglasses, jimmy choo, ugg boots, ray ban, insanity, canada goose, louboutin, oakley vault, soccer shoes, herve leger, canada goose outlet, oakley sunglasses cheap, oakley sunglasses outlet, bottega veneta, p90x3, gucci, cheap oakley sunglasses, canada goose, ugg, moncler, canada goose, cheap oakley sunglasses, chi flat iron, celine handbags, oakley, tn pas cher, oakley outlet, cheap sunglasses, oakley sunglasses cheap

co wendy said...

discount christian louboutin, cheap nike jordan shoes, christian louboutin, ugg soldes, Discount Louis Vuitton, uggs outlet, ugg australia, Cheap LV Handbags, christian louboutin remise 50%, ugg pas cher, Cheap Louis Vuitton Handbags, Christian Louboutin Bois Dore, ugg, wholesale jordan shoes, Christian Louboutin Daffodile, Bags Louis Vuitton, uggs on sale, Air Jordan 11 Gamma Blue, christian louboutin shoes, ugg boots, cheap jordans , Discount LV Handbags, cheap christian louboutin, discount nike jordans

asdasdasd asd said...

louis vuitton outlet
michael kors
ray ban sunglass
burberry scarf
uggs for kids
michael kors outlet
jeremy scott adidas
abercrombie & fitch
jordan 3 retro
canada goose outlet
burberry sale
michael kors outlet online
timberland shoes
jordan retro 11
hollister clothing
abercrombie outlet
kate spade outlet
mont blanc pens
abercrombie
mulberry outlet
canada goose sale
louis vuitton outlet
running warehouse
louis vuitton handbags
ugg boots
uggs outlet
canada goose outlet
michael kors outlet online
oakley vault
hollister jeans
christian louboutin shoes
abercrombie & fitch
coco chanel
coach factory outlet
coach factory outlet
michael kors outlet
timberland uk
abercrombie and fitch
ralph lauren bedding
ugg australia

Hua Cai said...

mcm bags
hollister clothing
ray ban
marc jacobs handbags
hollister
michael kors outlet online
abercrombie and fitch
oakley sunglasses
coach outlet
ray ban uk
hollister
michael kors outlet
mont blanc
tods outlet
tiffany and co
new balance
lacoste polo shirts
burberry handbags
cheap jordans
adidas wings
ray ban sunglasses
chanel handbags
rolex watches
kobe 9
polo lacoste pas cher
pandora charms
true religion jeans
kate spade outlet
ghd hair straighteners
ralph lauren
ray ban sunglasses
ghd
true religion outlet
pandora charms
thomas sabo
ray ban
converse outlet
air max 90
mcm backpack
michael kors handbags
2015401li

mmjiaxin said...

true religion jeans
ray ban outlet
ray-ban sunglasses
dallas cowboys
rolex watches,rolex watches,swiss watches,watches for men,watches for women,omega watches,replica watches,rolex watches for sale,rolex replica,rolex watch,cartier watches,rolex submariner,fake rolex,rolex replica watches,replica rolex
oakland raiders
cheap soccer jerseys
cheap wedding dresses
karen millen uk
prada sneakers
michael kors factory store
hollister canada
air max 2014
vans shoes
christian louboutin shoes
timberland shoes
north face outlet
chicago bulls
mcm backpack
mlb jerseys
mm1107

Hua Cai said...

mcm outlet
ugg uk
lululemon outlet
swarovski crystal
prada handbags
ray ban sunglasses
ugg boots
ralph lauren
moncler coats
michael kors factory outlet
ray ban sunglasses
discount michael kors handbags
michael kors outlet
canada goose jackets
michael kors outlet
replica watches
true religion outlet
snow boots
lacoste polo shirts
the north face
uggs clearance
ralph lauren uk
north face jackets
the north face outlet
air max 2015
michael kors factory outlet
football shirts
michael kors uk
soccer jerseys
oakley sunglasses
lululemon outlet
oakley sunglasses
michael kors wallet
ugg australia
michael kors outlet clearance
michael kors factory outlet
coach outlet online
christian louboutin uk
michael kors handbags clearance
pandora jewelry
20151114caihuali

louis vuitton outlet said...

Tory Burch Outlet
Michael Kors Outlet Ralph Lauren Outlet Gucci Factory Outlet Gucci Outlet Gucci Handbags Cheap Ray Ban Sunglasses North Face Jackets Prada Outlet Burberry Outlet Hollister Clothing Ferragamo Shoes Tiffany Jewelry Tiffany Outlet NFL Jerseys Cheap Jordans Oakley Outlet North Face Outlet Burberry Outlet Ray Ban Sunglasses
Chan Luu Sale Toms Outlet Burberry Outlet Oakley Sunglasses Toms Shoes Sale Beats By Dr Dre Coach Outlet Christian Louboutin Shoes Oakley Sunglasses Valentino Shoes
Oakley Eyeglasses Michael Kors Outlet Coach Factory Outlet Coach Outlet Online Coach Purses Kate Spade Outlet Toms Shoes North Face Outlet Coach Outlet Gucci Belt

Cran Kate said...

Burberry Belt Tory Burch Boots Louis Vuitton Belt Ferragamo Belt Marc Jacobs Handbags Lululemon Outlet Christian Louboutin Shoes True Religion Outlet Tommy Hilfiger Outlet
Michael Kors Outlet Coach Outlet Red Bottoms Kevin Durant Shoes New Balance Outlet Adidas Outlet Coach Outlet Online Stephen Curry Jersey Vans Outlet Ralph Lauren Outlet
Ugg Boots Sale UGGS For Women Skechers Go Walk Adidas Yeezy Boost Adidas Yeezy Adidas NMD Coach Outlet North Face Outlet Ralph Lauren Outlet Puma Outlet Polo Outlet
Under Armour Outlet Under Armour Hoodies Herve Leger MCM Belt Nike Air Max Louboutin Heels Jordan Retro 11 Converse Outlet Nike Roshe Run UGGS Outlet North Face Outlet

Hua Cai said...

michael kors handbags
tiffany and co
swarovski jewelry
ray-ban sunglasses
ray ban sunglasses sale
longchamp outlet
christian louboutin outlet
mulberry outlet
rolex watches for sale
tory burch outlet
coach outlet online
tiffany and co
michael kors online
versace sunglasses
air max 2015
polo ralph lauren
kobe shoes
ferragamo shoes
kate spade uk
oakley sunglasses
iphone case uk
louis vuitton handbags
michael kors outlet
true religion sale
true religion jeans
mulberry handbags sale
ralph lauren polo
ralph lauren uk
michael kors online outlet
adidas shoes
rolex watches
ralph lauren pas cher
tiffany and co
true religion jeans sale
coach outlet store
20160623caihuali

fangyaoting said...

fangyanting20160908
polo ralph lauren outlet
christian louboutin uk
mbt shoes
ugg outlet
swarovski crystal
chaussure louboutin
canada goose outlet
michael kors outlet
cheap uggs
beats headphones
hollister clothing store
longchamp outlet
christian louboutin shoes
true religion jeans
nike outlet store
salomon shoes
coach outlet online
christian louboutin outlet
swarovski outlet
toms shoes
polo ralph lauren
tory burch outlet online
iphone case uk
hermes outlet store
coach outlet online
michael kors outlet online
fred perry polo shirts
adidas trainers
coach outlet online
jordan 4


chenlina said...

fitflops sale clearance
abercrombie and fitch
tory burch outlet
louis vuitton handbags
michael kors outlet
toms shoes
ray ban sunglasses
louis vuitton outlet
coach factory outlet
nike roshe run
jordans for sale
louis vuitton outlet
coach outlet store online
ugg outlet
gucci uk
louis vuitton outlet
prada handbags
fitflops
chaussures christian louboutin
ugg outlet
ray ban sunglasses
uggs on sale
toms shoes
nba jerseys
canada goose outlet
louis vuitton handbags
oakley sunglasses
canada goose
coach factory outlet
ugg boots
mont blanc pens
ugg boots
louis vuitton outlet
canada goose outlet
vans shoes outlet
ugg boots uk
coach outlet
miami heat jerseys
oakley sunglasses
ray ban sunglasses
chenlina20160913