It’s taken me a while to feel ready to write this blog post. My heart has been a little bit broken. As many of you know last fall on Sept. 1st we added an African son to our family. Though we anticipated a time of transition and perhaps even a stretching adjustment, our experience could not have been more seamless.
Enric moved in and from the start belonged. He was a perfect fit and having had our older son move out on Aug. 28th he filled a void we had little time to feel. Within weeks, though we had been asked to have Enric live with us for only one school year, we knew beyond a doubt that he was welcome to stay for his final 3 years of high school.
On Sept. 12th, 2009 Enric moved out. It was a very sad day for the Rettmann family. In August Enric came to us and shared his heart, “completely uncovered”, as he put it. He took some time to share with Todd and me how our home had affected him. He said that the peace we live in on a daily basis in our home was healing his pain from the genocide he had lived through in Rwanda. We were stunned, and of course thankful. He went on to tell us that the way we talk to each other and our kids as well as our finances and faith were things in which he had learned from and would shape his future. What he had trouble saying in addition to all this was that it was time for him to move on. Living in Sherwood, so far from the Portland area where he planned to spend much of his time developing his musical career, had become too inconvenient for those who were investing in him musically.
I have cried over and wrestled with his absence in our lives. One year went by so fast and it is hard for me to believe that it was enough. Last week in the middle of one of my good crying sessions with a dear friend, Enric sent me a text. It said, “You will always be my mom and I miss you”. Of course I cried some more.
As I have been processing the loss and getting used to the hole, I have had to believe that sometimes our seasons are shorter than others. I have had to reconcile the fact that though we offered Enric healing and a home, he needed to fly. I am also learning that loving someone means sacrifice and loss sometimes, but it is always worth the risk and heartache. The Lord’s timing is perfect, not always understandable in our finite minds, but perfect none-the-less.