Sunday, April 10, 2011

He Sat in a Shed

It is hard to believe that less than a year ago this child was sitting in a shed.

Rocking out of boredom.

Listening to the moans of the boys around him.

I can't get my mind around it sometimes when I look at him.

He has come so far.

Each time he snuggles into me and laughs with utter joy when I hold and kiss him, I am reminded how far he has come...


He has a long ways to go. 

We have realized more and more in the last few weeks just how far our little fugitive needs to go.  He seems to have hit a plateau in the language department.  He struggles to retain words that we have used over and over again for months now.  Language is a huge struggle.

But knowing where he was a year ago.  We understand.  And we grieve.

He sat in a shed.  At a mental institute.

He was deemed severely mentally disabled as well as severely physically disabled.  So, when he turned five years old, they sent him to a mental institute.

Where he sat. 

In empty rooms and sheds.  With nothing.  Nothing.  FOR AN ENTIRE YEAR.

I can't get my brain around that sometimes, and I would NEVER have believed it if I hadn't witnessed it with my own eyes. 

He is disabled physically.  Yes.  But mentally.  NO.  He is not mentally disabled.

If God had given Aaron to us at birth - we believe he would be up with his peers.  Probably ahead in many areas.  Maybe behind in some.  A normal child.

But after five years in an orphanage and after a year in a shed - in a language-deprived world - after the trauma of transfer - after all that he lost - it is no wonder that he struggles.  And will continue to struggle.

And we grieve.

Time.  Love.  Safety.  Security.  Patience.  Wisdom.  Work.



We know it will take all of these to unlock what we know is inside our little guy.

So we wait.  We work with him.  We cherish who he is.  We try hard not to compare.  We love.  We rejoice at how far he has come.  We study to understand.  We pray. 

The reality...

He is a precious little guy. 

He didn't come out of his year unscathed but his spirit is sweet and the joy that radiates from him much of the time is humbling. 

We have no idea what the future holds for him.  There are so many mountains he needs to climb.  We struggle to know how to proceed.  It grieves us to see him struggle.  We want so much for him.

But we are learning to take one day at a time.

And learning to love him just as he is. 

And to be completely honest - with Aaron - loving him is definitely the easiest part!


  1. I can relate to this post in so many ways. Even without the year in an institution the damage done is severe. Just in the last couple of weeks I've been wondering....will she catch up? Will she lose these autistic behaviors? I have to remind myself that we've only had her 7 months. I honestly can't remember not having her so it helps me to remember how far she has come and how far she still has to go.

  2. I just am going to say this here... it is easy to love Aaron and you know, I'm sure he's going to be exactly what God made him to be... and that doesn't depend on what he learns... or how he walks... it is his soul... and his spirit. THAT is what makes us who God intended... I firmly believe this.

  3. There is beauty in that struggle, there is beauty in the trying... Just as God smiles at us when we struggle to become who He knows we can be...What a precious gift you have been given, you get to witness a miracle... God loves you so.

  4. He is beautiful. I pray that God continues to show him just how beautiful he is!!!

  5. Wow! How Great is Our God?? Thank you for all you do and even in your coming home you haven't forgotten about the one's left behind!

    Oh and I had to chuckle about your last post abot Aaron and the eggs. My daughter Laurel from Ukraine 09 would eat eggs all day if I let her. We have chickens and her job is to go get the eggs. It never gets old to her to find them..... I hear "Mama EGGS!!!" and praise our Lord for those words. She can have as many eggs as she wants :)

  6. so thankful that Aaron is out of that shed and home with his loving, supportive family. praising God for the great progress Aaron has made. thanks for advocating for those who are still there.

  7. He is amazingly beautiful and he will bless many.

  8. I know that Aaron is very bright, but that does not rule out a true learning disability. One of my birth children struggles with language and memory issues. If you are interested in discussing some of the techniques we have used, just email me.

  9. When I see his face I see sweetness and even though I've only been following you for a little while, I see such a change in that little man. What a beautiful child becoming all God intended him to be. Hugs

  10. Julia,I love your blog. I read it often. I love the sweet bright smiles on all your sons' faces. They are obviously well loved. I am adopting Mateo and am a little worried about the fact that he will be 7 when I bring him home. But I have a child with RAD, two with ADD and one who was exposed to cocaine in utero. I am holding my beautiful 5 mo old foster baby right now who was a victim of abuse. And she smiles at me with the sweetest purest smile. Well loved, all of them. I'm so encouraged by your words always. Thank you.

  11. That he is with you and not in the institute is a miracle. His rescue is a miracle. I'm sure Aaron's story will impact many, many people and I'm sure many more children will be rescued because of his story.

  12. He has done very well in so many areas, but it is not uncommon for children from such extreme deprivation to have processing issues. They simply missed all the critical early building blocks of development, language, and learning. Is Aaron receiving any special education or therapeutic intervention? I know that attachment, adjustment, and medical issues have been the focus- as they should be- but maybe there is now room in his world to include professionals to help him progress in areas.


Loving words from kind people make our hearts glad!