A few months ago, Nasko was moved to a new classroom. He’s still in a residential home in northern Illinois and attending a therapeutic school. Within his school though, he changed classrooms, teachers, and curriculum.
Along with the change came new ideas and goals. His new teacher mentioned Nasko’s struggle to transition from the cafeteria to the classroom.
Together, we brainstormed that Nasko could FaceTime me after returning to his room everyday. His teacher made some adjustments and got the proper approvals. Soon I was written into the curriculum.
It worked well for a time. Nasko seemed to transition better and was excited to chat. His personal iPod has been defunct for a while (cannot get that kid to stop changing the settings and ending up with a Japanese-speaking iPod!) so getting to call home was motivating.
I eagerly looked forward to these mid-day chats. Many times, Walter would be napping and I had uninterrupted talk time with Nasko.
But then, as is typical with our Nasko, what worked well once worked no longer.
He didn’t seem eager to call home anymore. He told his teachers he wanted to play on the iPad and not use it to talk. He would sometimes call, but hang up right after connecting with me.
The calls became more inconsistent and infrequent. Days and even weeks were missed.
Nasko’s teacher called me last week. She called about another matter, but while we talked, she apologized for Nasko no longer FaceTiming. She said his staff felt terrible when Nasko would just hang up on me or was no longer interested in chatting. The newness had worn off and Nasko didn’t care to talk when they offered.
His teacher was so apologetic. She was concerned I might be upset or frustrated with Nasko and his lack of enthusiasm to talk.
I finally stopped her apology and said, “My love for Nasko does not depend on his actions. I love that boy whether he wants to talk to me or not. My love for Nasko is unconditional. You never need to worry about his behaviors changing how much I love him.”
She sat silently stunned for a beat.
When I adopted and chose to love Nasko, sure I hoped for a little boy who would love me back. I desired kid hugs and sloppy kisses. I dreamed of a life-long, loving relationship between mother and son.
Many of those dreams have been shattered as the trauma of orphanage life has left Nasko broken and abused. But that commitment of love I declared for a brown-eyed, brown-haired tiny boy in Bulgaria? It has not wavered one bit. I still love that boy fiercely.
Maybe this story of love sounds familiar.
God also loves us in a similar way. His example is what motivates me to move forward through resistance and hung-up phone calls.
His love is even more fierce though as I don’t just hang up on Him. I metaphorically spit in His face and demonstrate my hatred for His design daily. I defy His desires for me and yet His love is unwavering.
This love is not common in our world. It’s nearly impossible to comprehend.
That’s why a teacher felt the need to apologize to a student’s mother.
Unwavering and committed love is a revolutionary love with gospel undertones. It has the power to change the recipient’s life and hopefully the lives of any who observe it.
This love from a Father is why I continue to love my son, unconditionally.