He had NO experiences. He had NO possessions. He had NO family. He had NO understanding of the world beyond the walls of the institutes that contained him. He knew nothing about anything. No one taught him color words or how to count. He knew no animals except dogs, cats and one horse. He knew nothing about birthday parties or presents.
He only knew that vehicles were "machinas," but he knew nothing about trucks, boats, trains and buses. Nothing. He knew nothing about rivers and oceans. He had never been inside a store or a restaurant. He knew nothing about cultures or people. Nothing. Every single experience outside those walls has been new for him. Every single one.
Yet he doesn't approach the world in terror. He isn't cowering in a corner terrified. He doesn't react to people and places with fear. We don't have to drag him out of the house kicking and screaming. Not Aaron.
The boy who had Nothing can't wait to get in the car. He loves to go for rides. He is thrilled whenever we tell him we are going to do something new. With his family by his side he is willing to go out and do whatever it is that we are doing. He cheerfully sits in the back seat, jabbering away in his budding English about what we are doing and where we are going.
We know where he came from. We experienced the world he left behind. Now the Hartmans are there, seeing the sights and sounds of Aaron's old world for themselves as they get to know Judd (whom we knew as Brady when we were there).
Somehow, through all of that, Aaron retained his ability to view his new world with wonder, joy and awe. To watch our little fugitive experience his new world has been unbelievably humbling.
Everyone who meets him and has the privilege of spending a few minutes with him comes away humbled and overcome. His sweetness. His love for life. His joy. His willingness to engage in conversation. It takes your breath away. So many times we watch him, listen to him, laugh at the utter cuteness that is Aaron and wonder aloud - how in the world did we find him? One little boy. One of many little Lost Boys. God is good.
There are so many more. Unfound treasures just waiting to take your breath away.