These three posts lead us to last weeks story where our five heroes were faced with a shocking idea. James and Ana Florez were acting like they were keeping them! In fact Kate and Jordan were quite sure they were! Like she said previously Jordan feels she is living a life unplanned. And she very much wants to get her strategy back! But she has no idea how to!
Life Unplanned . . .
We gathered in Kate’s bedroom immediately after the family meeting for a sibling meet. Her room was biggest and she was the oldest so it had been the obvious place for sibling meets. Because she too had packed, expecting to leave, her room was clean for once. We all settled in easily without worrying about computer chords, or note books, or anything else she usually had. And we considered our family meeting.
No one spoke for some time.
Finally Rhyan sighed, “Wow.”
“Yah.” Kate breathed. And I agreed for there were no words to describe what had just happened.
Pearl starred at the floor. She liked James and Ana. She realized that. They seemed honest enough but would Ana ever be like Mommy? Of course Ana would never replace Mommy but Pearl thought she could still be kind.
Rhyan wondered if James could tease like Dad. James teased us some but it wasn’t the same.
Scott was wondering if James would know how to make a three story castle with sand. Dad had said he would help Scott build one some time and then, well, he never had.
I was thinking about their question which had totally zapped my brain, ‘Will you trust us?’ And, ‘time builds trust.’ Was that so? Would they really keep us?
Kate sighed as she looked at us all. How could she be the big, brave sister when she felt so small and scared? It was hard to know what to do and besides her brain felt overloaded too. Abruptly she wished she could have some time to think.
Rhyan broke the silence.
“Why are we all so quiet?”
“Oh.” My mind had been ripped from it’s thoughts.
“They’re keeping us.” Scott exclaimed.
“Yes! And did anyone else hear James!?” It was Kate her thoughts had, without warning, come together.
“Uhuh! They hadn’t told us that yet!” Rhyan cried.
“Well,” Kate noted, “we’ve only stayed with them two weeks at a time. And we’ve had school everyday and then been busy in the evenings too!”
“I guess, but that, that’s important!”
We all concurred with Rhyan! And we all knew what she was talking about.
Near the end of our family meeting James had noted,
“I remember when my family first adopted me. And I remember how hard it was to get settled in. But you can always come to us with questions we’re always willing to talk to you guys, ok?”
That statement had baffled us all. So he’d been adopted too!?
We didn’t say anymore for a moment then Rhyan wondered again, “What are you all thinking?”
Everyone looked at everyone else, finally I spoke,
“I think, maybe, that we don’t know exactly what home is. And I, at least, am trying to figure out how to make this place home when I don’t know what home is.”
Kate noted, “The dictionary definition of home is: where someone lives or, and I like this one, a residence or refuge, one’s own place.”
I at once recalled my thoughts that morning. I wanted my own room. And she was right. I wanted my own place, my own refuge, my own home.
“But we can’t just make this our home.” I whispered.
“No, it takes time.” Kate decided.
Time. That made me think of trust. It took time to build trust and time to build a home.
“Well.” Pearl whispered, “I think they want us here.”
“Yah.” Scott decided, “They do.”
“I’m glad. I want to be here.” Pearl murmured.
Unexpectedly I grinned, “I am too.”
“Me too.” Rhyan reported animatedly, “This is a good place to be!”
Kate laughed and concluded, “I guess that’s all true.”
“Guys.” Scott stated, “It IS true! If James was an orphan why would he ditch us? Our experiment worked. We are really living here! Guys, this is the home.”
“Yah.” Pearl laughed.
Rhyan nodded vigorously, she was ready to get the meeting over so she could go make maps to hide some treasure. Kate grinned just so we would all leave so she could think things through for real. I smiled because all of a sudden I was excited. I was joyful they wanted us. I was ready to try. It was exhilarating to have a reason to try to trust them.
I realized though that my biggest fear wasn’t that they might send us away. I feared that they would keep us! If they kept us we would have to trust them. Yet somehow, with all my siblings smiling and talking around me, it suddenly didn’t seem as terrible.
We all gathered together linked arms and announced our sibling pledge then added,
“To our new home!”
Pearl jumped up and down happily and ran of to tell her stuffed animals, Rhyan ran for her maps, Scott went up for a snack, and Kate lay down to think. But I slipped into my room and wrote out my thoughts,
A home, I wrote. is a refuge. So how am I going to make this place mine? I can not even to begin to fathom the depths of danger that could befall us! But then again what heights of joy could we ascend too!? I suppose I will find out. Besides what is adventure without a little fear?
After writing it all out I felt a little better. That was the thing about writing, it straightened my mind!
Kate, on the other hand, was still rather worried even two hours later when we prepared to go to church. And she had good reason to worry.
James and Ana had told us we were going to evening church. Then they added that our grandparents were coming! Oh how Kate hoped our grandparents were nice and wouldn’t think her a horrid, misbehaving, older sister. And she hoped just as strongly that the church people wouldn’t shun us. After all they had been up all night looking for us!
How she hoped everyone wouldn’t blame her. Yet, as an older sister, she knew her duty. She was responsible for us all whether she wanted to be or not. And though it was a big responsibility for a thirteen year old, she always took it bravely. Still it was never easy!
Meanwhile I was feeling all rumpled up and unplanned again! What if the church people hated us? What if our grandparents hated us? And yet in the midst of my worries one, small light stuck out.
They had told us we were home. James and Ana had said it loud and clear, ‘We’re so glad to have you all here! We are so blessed to have you as part of our home!’ And somehow it didn’t sound to bad for the yellow house beside the sea to be home. In fact it sounded rather good. And though I didn’t quite know why it sounded good, I was glad it did.
Well, I wrote as an end to my journal entry, I guess this is home. Home. My place. I love that sound! So why is it so scary to think about? I don’t know what’s coming. I don’t know what I’m doing. I mean it’s one thing to leave and start a new life but it’s an entirely different idea to stay in the same place with the same people forever! Then they’ll see all my mistakes! And they’ll know all my failures! And I’m not sure I want that! Also if I stay one place then I have no goal to be going towards. But maybe that’s good. If I have no where to go to then I’m right where I should be! But what should I do here? I suppose that is the adventure of it all! I’m so glad my siblings and I love adventures! Well, destiny awaits I must join my fellow explorers and discover what a home is like! (I have to leave any way it’s time for church!) (P.S. Maybe I can get in the habit of saying y’all since I’m living here! I love how James and Ana do that!) Signing off, J. Y. F.
And some how, deep within my heart, I wasn’t so scared. Just two days before we had all been worrying what they would do if they didn’t want us. But surprisingly I was wondering what they would do since they were keeping us! And though I was still a little unsure about trusting them, I was at least willing to try!