Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Our Story of Adoption--Part 2

Time passed. I went to college. I had amazing friends and wonderful experiences at BYU. While my major was Psychology, my minor was Dating, Socializing, and Watching Brigham Do the Funky Chicken.

I also did volunteer work.

I started out as a Big Sister in the Big Brother/Big Sister Program. Mine and my partner Lance's charge was a 13-year-old girl named Jamie. She was overweight, shy, and self-conscious in most areas of life. But she loved when Lance taught her (and me) to play tennis, when we played board games, and when I talked with her about boys. She had a Jason Priestly poster on her bedroom wall, so we bonded over our fantasy crushes on 90210.

After a year and a half, Jamie "graduated" from the BBBS program. Wanting another volunteer opportunity, I asked around. Another friend introduced me to a crisis shelter called The Family Support and Treatment Center, and I had a 3-hour shift every Saturday morning. Parents who were registered for counseling were encouraged to bring their children to the crisis nursery whenever they needed a time-out to regroup and take care of  pressing matters affecting the family.

I played hard with the kids. Every Saturday I went home and made a peanut butter and jelly sandwich--the same thing the kids ate right before I left at noon. I loved my time with those kids. Some were a bit indifferent to the volunteers, but most were hungry for attention. One child who really touched me was a 6-year-old girl named Ashley. After spending a majority of my shift with her, she made me a card. The front was a picture of a rainbow. The inside read: "Thank you for being here. I love you. Please don't ever leave this place."

Oh! I wished I didn't have to. I wished I could take Ashley home with me, even though I was only 20, naive, and inexperienced--and she already had a family. I knew I had enough in me to bring her into my circle, to love her as my own. I remember feeling grateful to have a heart with the capacity to care for others.

The only thing missing from my work at the FSTC was someone to share the experience with. And so I asked a new friend, a sweet red-haired guy who lived in my apartment complex and worked in the office next to me in the Kimball Tower, to go with me. And he did.


Mopsie said...

I'm loving the telling. Hurry with part 3!

brooklyn said...

more please! i'm loving this!

Emmy said...

Loving it!! Yes part three soon!

Rachel McEwen said...

love reading your story...was the sweet red haired guy named Bryce?

Denalee said...

Rebecca ... Part 1 & Part 2 are just making me hunger for more. Hurry please :)