And so continues the blog that left you all on your toes…..
(Didn’t read last weeks? Click here).
Our whole car ride, and the months prior, he had really only mentioned his mom. He couldn’t remember what her name was, but he sure remembered her face. He remembered that she made him feel loved, even through great struggle, and that she had always had the best intentions even when she wasn’t able to carry through. Other family was mentioned briefly, but nothing excited him more than the thought of being reunited with his mother. So he asked his aunt, with uneasiness in his tone,
“and my mom?”
“She moved a few years ago, about three hours away. On the border of Guatemala, deeper into these mountains.”
I looked at him, unsure of what his response would be. His face filled with contentment, “but she’s alive and well?”
There is no describing the moment when it comes together that while this isn’t a hug from his mom, the simple news that she is still living was what we came for that day. We didn’t get to introduce her to her incredible son, but he had a piece of the puzzle completed that we had all overlooked, the simple life of his mom. She’s alive. She’s well. And she’s wondered about him often over the years.
His aunt looked at me. “I can have someone take you there if you want. It is another hour driving and then you’ll have to leave your car and walk about another two hours.”
Moises looked at me from behind his aunt and sternly mouthed “no.” A few minutes later I pulled him aside. While I was incredibly overwhelmed at the thought of making that journey, we had come so far. How were we going to stop now? I asked him what he thought of the offer. “Obviously, I want to see my mom. But Haley, it isn’t wise for us to go there. Today is a miracle in that we found where my family lives. We know where my mom is, and we will find her sometime. But not today.”
The amount of grace he showed this day is something that I wish could be translated into the words of a blog. He could have been upset that they never went looking for him. He
could have been mad that his mom would move and leave the family behind. He could have had resentment in the realization that life had been going on the past 8 years within his family, without him.
I sat there dreaming up what our next steps would be. We had to meet his mom. It wasn’t a question of if, but when. I thought up a number of plans that we could put together to prayerfully make that happen. I kept asking for phone numbers, only to be reminded that this was deep into the mountains, cell service was not an option, so phones were not a part of their lives. The thought of making the journey to his moms house left me uneasy. There were so many unanswered questions.
His aunt let us know that her husband often went to the village where his mother lives for work, and that he would be able to relay the message that her beautiful son was alive and thriving. That’s when it clicked….we could relay a date that we would come back here to his aunts house and his mom would also come. I proposed the idea to his aunt and she found it perfect. “She will come on horseback,” she explained, “it will be perfect.”
June 21st. It was set.
Flash forward through 3 weeks of difficult conversations, overwhelming feelings, doubtful thoughts and continuous excitement.
It was June 20th. We made our way to the nearest town and stayed in the same hotel. He had the same dinner (sweet and sour chicken) because he thought it would bring good luck.
I woke up on June 21st with a knot in my stomach. It had rained all night. Something wasn’t feeling right. What if we got all the way there and his mom didn’t come? Nevertheless, we were off into the mountains.
We got about an hour in, through roads far worse than I remembered, without another car in sight. I would be lying if I said that it wasn’t a scary drive, and that more curse words came out of my mouth than I’d care to admit. We came up to a hill that made my heart stop. The mud was easily 3 feet deep. Of course we hadn’t seen cars….no one would be able to pass here. My tires spun. They got out of the car and pushed, whilst undoubtedly scared of the cliff we were on. There is no doubt that overwhelming emotion came over all of us. How was I supposed to tell this child that we weren’t going to make it to meet his mom?
I prayed and prayed as we sat in silence. Not only for guidance on how to have this conversation, but also on how in the world I was supposed to turn the car around on this one way, cliffside road. God was clear. Not yet. You can pass this point. Don’t give up yet.
Sure enough, we tried one last time. My tires spun, but persevered through the mounds of mud. We cheered and cheered as we drove the next mile or so, feeling the hope restored. Until we came upon this;
“I don’t want to die Haley, it isn’t smart to keep going.”
We sat in desperation as we came to the conclusion that we wouldn’t make it. This was the first of 3 mountains to cross, and it was already starting to sprinkle with only gray sky in sight. We saw a man on foot. We stopped him to ask about the road. I’ll never forget the way he looked at us. “In this car, you aren’t making it anywhere today.”
To be honest, turning the car around is one of the hardest things I’ve experienced alongside a child. We did what was wise and I’ll never regret the decision to put our safety above all else. Chances are, his mom wasn’t able to make it in due to the rainy conditions. We don’t know. I hate that we don’t know. But he and I have had the discussion time and time again. Sometimes God cares for our hearts in a way that hurts first. When we meet his mother, it is going to be a reunion of abundance joy. June 21st wasn’t the time. We cried together. It wasn’t what we wanted, but the plan and purpose is bigger than our comprehension.
I’m going to finish with asking for your prayers. I don’t know what our next steps are. He doesn’t know what our next steps are. I’m prayerful that this crazy, two-blog journey isn’t over yet. The rainy season will finish soon and then some discussion will be had. But I want to try to paint an image for you that will hopefully place you in the moment that has given me hope.
We walked into Proniño. He was greeted with the most open arms, everyone excited to hear about our journey. As he delivered the unfortunate news, he was wrapped in hugs, handshakes, and lots of “don’t worry man, you’ll find her soon!”
He looked at me with the biggest smile I’d seen from him that day.
“See this, Haley? I’m okay. This is why I live here. These people are my family.”