Where is the innocence of childhood going because it is no longer being borne away on puffy soft dandelions, or on fairy wings, or the hope of an intriguing story where the hero/heroine ends up happily, with visions for the reader that this story or others like it could be their story.
For those of us who have been there and can remember, it is with pity that I stood in front of my 6th grade classes and asked them how they saw the world in 100 years. Would it be better or worse off? Student after student raised their hands and told me of environmental issues, terrorists fears, wars, weather related disasters, famine and a whole mulitude of reasons why the world will not be a better place. Things that at that their age I had not even thought about, because I was busy with childhood dreams.
At the end I asked for a show of hands and the "it is not going to be a better place" won by over 3/4th of the majority. I wanted to cry folks, these are 10 and 11 year old children that see the future with such hopelessness. These children are our future, and they see no hope. Even ten years ago, the students would have voted much more to the positive side.
At that age I knew little of the world, and even though I didn't grow up with an idyllic childhood, I viewed the world and my future with anticipation that I could change things, even if it was only in a small way. I read stories about Clara Barton and Helen Keller, while many of these kids are reading stories that are dark and terrifying.
I asked the students who thought the world would be better, why they thought it would be, and they couldn't give specifics. I understood, because when you are a child you can't always explain in words where your joy comes from, I think that is part of the beauty, they don't have to analyze it, it just is. Still, I wanted to take the ones aside that said it would be a better world, and ask them to try and explain in depth why they thought so. I wanted to ask them, what gives you reason to raise your hand to a better future? I wanted to say to them, do you know you are a small minority, but you are the hope of the future, unless the others hearts and minds can be infused with your vision.
I know that my hope rests in Jesus Christ. I wondered about these children and what their hope rests in?
Even though our adopted children have seen more of life than my 6th graders, they have so much hope in their future. The smiles and thank yous that we receive for seemingly small things is so gratifying. The world is new through their eyes and the visions and dreams are dancing around our house again.
We were blessed to be able to home school our children for 6 years while they chased the dandelions, and they continued to do so even after we put them in school. There are many days when I want to be able to do this for our adopted children, but we do not feel God is calling us back to homeschooling, although if he does I am ready. It was a wonderful time and for those of you who are there now, enjoy! Those times, they go so quickly.
Joy is running rampant at our house today. Lena has five of her very dear friends from her orphanage coming to our house with their families to visit. She is beside herself with excitment. Isn't God amazing that she ended up in Texas where all her very closest friends live only 3 hours from us.
Our newest daughter is doing so well! She is smiling again and rapidly finding her very own special place here. The empty seat that had Lena on it for all these years is now filled with one beautiful, blond, blue eyed SWEET girl.
Time for chores, unfortunately, I am not going to chase dandelions, but the dust that is floating around my house :)