This guest blog is written by my friend "Walter" (he chose the pseudonym, not me!) who has been involved with the two boys I've been writing about for several years now.
I have known the boys for four years now. I met them through the author of this blog when we took them to the y - that was the first time I had ever met them. The kids were very polite and very cautious at first. They didn't go far from us and watched us the whole time until we got to the Exploratorium and they started running around and playing with stuff. Then they started to loosen up and have fun.
By the end of the day that first day, they were smiling and having fun; getting to be kids. It was really neat to see them getting to be children. I was hooked. I said, "OK, we need to do this again. You guys had a good time, I had fun." Once they got to put off the hard exterior and be kids, I really loved who they were and that they got to be children. I wanted to do whatever I could to get the opportunity to be kids as much as they could under the circumstances.
We've done so many things with these kids now that I don't even remember. For a while, every time we would bring them home, they'd say "Thank you so much, that was the best day ever." Over the next four years, we took them to camp, horseback riding, bowling, to see the , rock climbing, hikes on the beach, etc. We watched them get older and we watched them grow in who they were and I was very proud of them. I still am.
In the last couple of years, "Jorge" and "Luis" have had an increasingly hard time with life, school, and their families. Their behavior has gotten to the brink of uncontrollable and certainly past the edge of unacceptable. They're pushing away from us hard and I think the reason is that it's too painful for them to have people in their lives who love them in a healthy way with good boundaries.
Earlier this year, they suffered an absolute tragedy, when they were witnesses to the murder of their 13-year old friend. Things went downhill for them fast and they began to push people who love them away from them. We're hoping for a big turnaround somehow. I'm hopeful that they are going to turn around fairly soon. I don't know how to fix it and I don't think anyone else can. Please pray.
I'm thankful to all the people who have given their time and energy to support this family. I'm happy I know them. I'm still very proud that there are these two good kids in there. I'm sad that right now it hurts a lot and I'm afraid that they'll never find a good way of letting that out. I see a lot of potential in both of them. I still could see Jorge being an officer in the Navy or something - he has this air about him of someone you can trust. He's just so angry. I think Luis is fantastic at art. He has a gift.
As much trouble as they're being right now, I wouldn't change any of the time I've put into them. They're worth it.