- open, mature, understanding arms and
- acceptance without a ton of prying questions.
The naive offer to take in an Amish runaway and help him/her adjust to "outside" life is often romanticized as much as Amish fiction. Truth is, it's . . .
- time-consuming work, with repeated
- explanations, answers, emotional energy, patience, money, and gasoline.
- finding clothes and basics at garage sales,
- driving them to the BMV, the dentist, to church, job interviews,
- explaining our health immunizations,
- encouraging them as they start their new life,
- hosting birthday parties,
- answering questions (or personally tutoring them) in their GED studies,
- including them in family holidays,
- alerting - not guilting - friends to specific needs then acting as a collection service for incoming job leads, clothes, cars, and other supplies.
I'm not the only person who opens her heart and home to ex-Amish. On behalf of those other good souls - thank you!. I want to challenge those who "will take one" to seriously think about the all encompassing commitment.
You may be a small part of an ex-Amish life for one holiday, a week, a year, or several years of giving and helping. Then, he/she may move on - out of your life - without a "thank you." Others we've helped financially disappeared into mainstream American life.
Love lets go. It doesn't control, manipulate, or coerce.
Some may make choices to get into drugs and a wild life. Some may disrespect - or innocently damage - your house or purposely go against your guidance. Are you prepared?
A friend recently said to me, "You'd think they'd be eternally grateful for all you do for them." In my experience, that rarely happens. And yet, as I write this I can say Mosie, Josh, Sarah, and Monroe are still a part of our lives with Marvin popping in on occasion. And of course we cherish our son-in-law Harvey (from the Swartzentruber Order of Amish).
And love doesn't say to the public, "Look at me and all that I've done." It quietly, personally serves. (tweet this)
Are you really prepared for this type of emotionally and financially draining, often frustrating, spontaneous, and memorable work? Is it right for you?
Leave your comments below. ~ Brenda
(c)Copyright 2013, Brenda Nixon.