Sunday, August 1, 2010
This is what 'Family' means...
We got a lot of flack for taking this photo at the tournament today, but what I want you to know is that on the ground is Ben. And surrounding him are Faith, the first to her slightly older brother, and Tsion and Solomon who came from far sides of the field. What you have to understand is that in soccer, at least here, the rules are that when a player is down, all the other players "take a knee" - so they kneel or sit down, not to move until the referees call a kind of "all clear".
Well, the four youngest kids are on the same team. They were playing in a tournament and made it to the championship game!!!! So, Tsion, Solomon, Ben and Faith were all on the field, playing (often one or the other is sitting out for a quarter - they try to rest the kids if they can). Well, Ben went down. Usually he just bounces right up! He went down and did not get up.
I try very hard not to embarrass my kids by running out on the filed - but I was caught calling Ben "Benny-boo" which is my pet name for him that I generally just use in my head, certainly NOT in public - poor child! I did not go out.
I stayed my ground but held my breath.
Faith was a forward with Ben and ran right to him as soon as she saw him down - alerted the referee so she called a stop in play. Faithie knelt by him and was checking him over as the coaches ran over.
Well, someone said something to me - another mom who knows us and knows Ben - that we have never seen him NOT get up right away. I looked to her, and when I turned around, what you see in the photos is what I saw.
All of Ben's siblings who are on the team gathered around him.
You have to understand that according to league rules they all should have been sitting on their butts wherever their positions were, which was all over the field.
Certainly, not anywhere near their down brother.
And yet, here were all our our "littles", taking care of their brother, who was hurt.
Enough to make a mom and dad cry.
Another mom saw Steve taking the pictures - he already was, but I told him also to make sure and capture that.
She was horrified that he was taking pictures of a kid down.
He WASN'T taking pictures of a kid down. He was taking pictures of the love of siblings that has transcended birth origins, time, continents, and languages. He was taking a picture of family love, no matter what. He was taking a picture of siblings who may not look alike, who may not have always been siblings, but whom God has knit together. Siblings who care more for each other than any rule in a stupid game. Caring more for each other than any game.
Remember, Ben and Tsion came to America, to our family two weeks less than a year ago - to the day. They came as kids who had only met each other a couple times before joining our family. Faith is the child who suddenly had more siblings very close in age to her - a total of three more to be exact. Our "littles" are all within six to eight months of age of each other, and spend about half the year with all four the same age. These kids came from many life experiences, many things, many tragedies, and lots of things. And now they are brothers and sisters.
And when the chips were down, that is what mattered - they are siblings and they love each other and look out for each other.
That photo is not a photo of a child hurt, it is a photo of love, of family. It is a photo of what is really important.
It is the photo and sight that made me cry on the field. Less than a year ago, two of these kids weren't even here. And look at them caring for each other, regardless of rules.
I will take it. Any day, any time.
By the way, Ben was checked over on the field, helped up, and the coaches began to escort him off the field.
Well, after walking a short way, he insisted on staying in. Tough kid.
They lost the championship game by one point, but in my book, they won. I certainly won. Thanking God for our kids and God's hand in knitting our family together.
"For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans for hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11