Castaway Kid

Have you read this book???

Well, if you haven't read it yet...BUY IT TODAY AND READ IT!!!! [if you are related to me, you don't have a must read it if you love me! :) ]

Seriously this book is amazing. The author recounts his life growing up in one of the last orphanages in the U.S. He was dropped off by his alcoholic, drug-addicted mother at the age of 3 and handed a blazer and one way bus ticket to leave at the age of 17. His father had already attempted to commit suicide 3 months earlier before being dropped off at the orphanage but was unsuccessful and was lying brain-dead in a hospital. Thankfully, there were some good people at this orphanage that helped him on his journey...but his journey was not complete without lots and lots of heartbreak along the way. I won't say much more about this book because well that would take away from you all reading it yourselves, but please do won't be sorry.

Of course, for me, this book was even more impacting because I am currently working in an orphanage and walking beside young men and women who are also "lifers" so to speak. Parts of the book literally took my breath away as I thought by name of some of the kids I have known in my time here...and their stories. These stories include abuse (all kinds of abuse) at the hands of mothers, fathers, uncles, aunts, neighbors, neglect, murder, drugs, prostitution, and whole slew of other things. Some of them haven't necessarily seen the "worst of the worst" but they struggle everyday to understand why Mommy and Daddy didn't love them or want them or why they were never picked to be adopted or why they never have any visitors or why they aren't smart or why, why, why???? The list really could go on. It really is heartbreaking...devastating.

At one point the Mr. Mitchell writes,
"But even at the age of seven I could see that kids preferred poverty if they were loved, rags if they were cared for, and homelessness if someone wanted them. We were willing to suffer much if we could only be part of our own families."

I have heard those words before...maybe not quite as eloquently, but I have heard them before. I also have wept on the floor with a girl as she screams, "Where was God when that man was abusing me over and over and over again...stealing my childhood and my innocence?"
We can close our eyes or avoid the news and newspapers or the bad area downtown. We can pretend that this stuff doesn't exist....


So my question is, what are we going to do about it? I can guarantee you that there is a child, teenager, or even adult very near to you that is probably suffering through more than you could ever imagine...feeling like a "castaway kid" that no one wants and that will never fit in and that will never be enough. I can promise you that they are there. They aren't all hidden away in orphanages. They are in our churches, our schools, our workplaces, our neighborhoods, and maybe even in our own families. So what are we going do it about it?

I can tell you God really convicted me hard while reading this book.. It is easy for me to just hold my head high and say "Well I work at an orphanage...I am helping this kids...what greater sacrifice is there than that?" Sure I could say those words, but if in my heart, I am not really 100% about investing into these kids and showing them God's truth and love, then I am doing it all in vain. It is worth nothing.

This month of October has been kind of hard month for my family. My kids keep getting sickness after sickness after sickness...which means this Mama is averaging as little as 4 hours of sleep a night....a lot of times even less. As the year is coming to a close, Hubby and I's administration jobs are sending us in opposite yet super busy directions making it very difficult for us to have time together, and well frankly I miss him. The girls are also out of school, so I have been trying to stay on top of them to make sure they are busy and not feeling neglected.

Basically all of that has caused a tension headache that seems to never go away, and it is making me really run down and tired. It has even made me at times question if I am doing the right thing and if all of this craziness was really worth it.

Well, just in case you were wondering.... IT IS TOTALLY WORTH IT!

One of the workers that made the most impact on the author while growing up was his house mother, Nola. She loved her "little Robby" as she so often called him. As I read, I just kept thinking, "I want to be like Nola!"

I am so blessed and privileged to get to do what I do everyday. It is tiring...down right exhausting at times. But, I wouldn't change it. I want my girls to have a future. I don't want their past to be the thing that defines them. I want to them to know and love Jesus and to know what it means to be a part of God's family and to know that they have a forever home they can look towards that beats any home here on this earth. I want them for as long as I have them in my care to know a mother's have an example they can look to for what it means to be godly woman, wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend.

"Oh Jesus help me be that for them. And, help us all to have eyes like yours so we can see those that are in desperate need right beside us. Thank You for this beautiful family that You have woven me a part of..."

For more information on the book Castaway Kid or its author R.B. Mitchell you can go to either of these websites...

Sandi Lerman  – (October 20, 2010 at 3:28 PM)  

This is a beautiful post, Sara! Thanks for sharing! Although it's not as intense as growing up in an orphanage would be, some of my high school students are going through some of the very same things you've described. We teachers and moms need to keep doing all the little things we do every day to help our kids believe in themselves and know on a deeper level how much they are truly loved ... both by us and to God.

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Some bits and bobbits about this blog...

This blog is mostly just ramblings by yours truly. I talk about my ups and downs being a wife, mother, and missionary in Guatemala. I have a tendency to get off on "soapboxes" as those who love me say but it is my desire that this blog can be a place of encouragement in each of your pilgrimages with Christ. At any moment if this blog becomes more about me than about Christ, than it will be done and please help me stay accountable. To God be all the Glory, Honor, and Power!

Books I am currently reading...

  • Eight Twenty Eight
  • Interrupted
  • The Connected Child
  • This Momentary Marriage
  • Unbroken

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