“‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’” Luke 15:31-32
Andrew: Age 7
:”I have a sibling, I didn’t know I had. He was born before I was born, when mommy was still living in the places that were bad. I met that sibling and felt like I was meeting a stranger,and he was bigger than me. He described mommy in ways, I have never known her to be. I have a sibling and sometimes he is angry because of me. He asks why I got to stay when he was taken away from Mommy. I have a sibling and sometimes he would cry, when a car would pull up and we would have to say goodbye. I used to try to figure out why.
Mitchell: Age 10
I have a sibling, he is younger than me. He has always known love, and safety with mommy. I have a sibling and it makes me upset. I have had to live in foster care because of the days I try to forget. I have a sibling and he hasn’t seen what I have seen. When did mommy change, and why couldn’t she change with me. I see her trying now, but I felt abandoned. Between my anger, sadness, and love I feel stranded. I try to smile for mom, but I am jealous of my brother, he has always known freedom, because he grew up with our mother. I have a sibling, I am trying to figure out how to love, because sitting in the background of him, it makes me question my mother’s love.
We are siblings and now we live together we no longer fight over mom. Mom has worked to heal us all so we could be united and get along. We are siblings and mom is so healthy and good. We have our own home, and she treats us like a mother should. We are siblings and the bad days are slipping into the pasts. It wasn’t easy in the beginning to be siblings, but now when asked, we say we are brothers.
At Acres of Hope the process of reunifying families is one that is the most beautiful experience. It is also one that comes with a lot of refinement. When families come to Acres of Hope and their family is a candidate for reunification there is much work to be done. It’s not just about cleaning up lives, it’s about cleaning up hearts. Healing wounds. Restoring dreams. There is an emotional surgery that must take place in the heart of the mother. She must be at the place where she is healthy enough to no longer sit in a place of shame over the past, but ready to embrace the fullness of the present so she can offer her children that hope and healing.
The children go through the same process. They experience the emotional waves of meeting either a new sibling, or one they have been separated from. During this process they must have the ability to have stability as their lives are renewed and unified together.
That’s what Acres of Hope offers, stability, love, grace, and of course Hope.