Friday, May 11, 2007

From Here to There Part Two


This is long. Sorry. But believe it or not, I left out some parts that are equally as amazing.


After the sign was in the yard, we began to make our list of what we wanted in our new house. All I knew was I wanted it to come with a maid …and a restaurant ice maker.

Ok...so we made a list of all the things we may actually get in a new house.
At the time, five little boys were in our home.

Aaron and I were on the bed staring at our cool tin ceiling and I said:

"I just want life to be easy. As much as I can't imagine myself living in the suburbs, if that will make life easy, then bring on the minivans. For the next few years, it might be nice to have a two car garage I can pull into instead of having to unload five kids in the rain. It might be nice to send them all out to the car with the garage door down instead of worrying they would run into the street and get run over by a garbage truck. It might be nice to live on a less busy street with sidewalks and lots of nice neighbor kids for my kids to play with. I just want life to be easy for awhile. I want less yard. I want more bedrooms. I want kids to go to sleep when I send them to their bed instead of laughing and talking to each other for hours. I'm tired of spanking them at night when I'm tired as well."
Easy.

We also knew that we wanted a house big enough to let someone live with us. Maybe a sweet college girl. Maybe a newly married couple. We just knew that God was calling us to something more in the area of “unstaged” community and hospitality.

Besides...I could use the help. I'm bent on having a big family, but lots of kids means lots of work. I don't think it's a coincidence that families used to be bigger, but they also used to live near their extended family. What a blessing it would be to not only invest our lives into the lives of others, but to have the added hands around to love on my children.

Our house was on the market for a long time and where we we go to get out of the house so it would stand a chance of remaining clean?  Downtown.

Just to drive around...because I think it's a cool place...and to go to the library...and to go to the Children's museum.

Lots of times Aaron went with us.

What happened on those many trips is that our hearts began to break for that area.

Having been foster parents, our eyes have been opened to the hidden lives of people living in generational poverty. We've seen how severe the consequences are for not having a clue how to live responsible lives. We've seen the sadness in parent's eyes...the confusion at not knowing why their kids are being taken away from them. It's one thing to know you're messed up. It's another thing altogether to find out for the first time that you're awful parents who will not be raising your own children from a judge in a court room in downtown Houston. I've never seen anything more disturbing.
I've admitted many times that I'm so far removed from needy people that I not only have no clue what they need, I wouldn't even know for sure where to find one to ask them.

The reason why Goodwill exists is because I don't know any poor people who need my stuff...so I drop it off on a little ramp and they make the poor people I don't know pay for the stuff I just gave them for free.

We have zoned the poor people out of our lives.

In my cute little neighborhood, I would have to search high and low for someone who needed anything I owned.

Driving around downtown Bryan we would see huge, beautiful homes surrounded by lots of terrifying ones. Wealthy, educated families used to live in those nice big homes. Now they are empty. We've abandoned the poor.

We have no idea what we're getting ourselves into but we have chosen a house in an undesirable part of town.

It only has two bedrooms

This seems so messed up!

Then Aaron asked Darrell Fikes and Cannon Perdue what they thought about the neighborhood. Darrell works for the Bryan Police Department and Cannon used to work for them.

I think Aaron was trying to see if everyone's fears (mainly mine) were overrated.

He was wrong.

Both men told us the neighborhood is indeed dangerous. I think Cannon even said something like, "What are you thinking?"

It wasn't just a myth.

Then I looked at the sex offender map.

I found our house...and it was surrounded by little red dots.

What?

So for a few days, I was again a wreck.

This has been a slow, brutal process.

We're pretty skeered but still going.

17 comments:

Hendrick Family said...

I hope I didn't offend anyone by calling African American people black. But I know if you were offended...then you're probably not black.

Ha!

D.O. said...

good point made in the first comment.

If China doesn't work out, I call dibs on either a room or a spot on the front lawn for my tent.

I love you guy's attitude and obedience... it's easy for me to be idealistic with stuff like this. I can move to the hood real easily. You've got kids and stuff. In reality it probably isn't any harder, but let's face it, it probably is.

Hendrick Family said...

Bring it on. One perk is that where we will be living has no zoning against tents.

And...I forgot to mention that YES we will be adding several more bedrooms this summer to the upstairs. So...not easy at all like I wanted...but eventually will be the place everyone should stay if they head to CS. No excuses! Imagine all the couches we can fit in this house!

Heather

Ryan Price said...

awesome...

It's only been like 2 days since school has been out, and I am already beginning to get bored. So... seriously, find something for me to do... a box to unpack... a room to construct... a couch with my name on it or something... ha!

Also... I'm reading a book right now that is really amazing about people living in poverty. It may be good to read to get a feel for what the people you're living around go through. If ya'll are interested, I'll bring it over when I'm done.

Halei said...

hahaha, at your black comment!! I think you can be an official black sista ;)

I want to come stay in da hood with your family!

I'm with Ryan, I'll be here in July with free weekends, so if you ever need any help with anything you should hit me up!!

Halei said...

ps - is that a picture of the actual house!

Hendrick Family said...

Yes! How cool is that?

And I just stuck you into my brain for July. Who likes to paint?

Heather

CarpioFamily said...

Hey about the dog?? Stormy is trying to find an owner of her dogs, One's a beagle mix and the other is a rockweiler mix ( said to be very obedient), thought i'd let you know!
Oh, and what part of william J? Carlos grew up in that area. We even lived there for Easton's first two years.
That's Carlos' Hood! - K Carpio

Williams Family said...

You are such an amazing example to me! Just like Kay said that is Carlos' hood. That is my hood too! My grandma lives in that area. And I have several cousins and friends from high school in that area. Hey you are closer to us (including Kaylene) now. We are the other side of W.J. bryan.

We need to get together more!! I can come over and paint!! If you don't mind two more children.

Just let me know when you need help!

Really call me!

Ana

Garratts said...

I agree so much when you said Aaron goes to inner city Bryan thinks those kids are going to be so amazed, that he a white man, fosters a black child. Then you said they could care less.

Then you wrote what they were really fascinated by. That is amazing. That is ministry and we don't even know it a lot of the time.

Just those kids seeing what a Godly family looks like, WOW! I love it.
So happy for you guys.

Brandon said...

So, is there a guest bedroom? As in...one that would hold the Rogers family if we came down to C.S. ever??

Thanks for the honesty of your being scared, and for the encouragement that what Jesus desires empowers us to act inside of that fear.

texasmcvays said...

That post was too long for me to read all of it. But the picture of the house reminded me of the old movie Cheaper by the dozen.If you have a heart for kids you must see it (so Heather that means you must see it!). Oh, I am totally offended by being called black when clearly I am a Christian African American and my childrean are going to be Christian European African Americans (God forbid they marry someone from another continent it could get really really long. FYI the term African American was coined by Jesse Jackson in the 1980's and is in my never to be humble opion an term that is meant to cause separation and not togetherness. Frankly, its really long to write! Black 5 letters African American 18 letters and 2 capitals, I've got too many kids for all that! Anyways as the late great MLK was black & so was Fredrick Douglas so if its good enough for them then its good enough for moi!

Hendrick Family said...

Halei and Kyle...
Oh how I love my beautiful black friends!

Brandon...
Well...technically no house of ours will have a guest bedroom, but our kids will gladly give up their rooms and sleep on our floor when company comes. They may even crawl in bed with you. Now are YOU skeered? Ha! We would LOVE to have you guys. But you better not just be teasing us.

Hendrick Family said...

Kaylene and Ana...

The house is behind Downtown Bryan...I guess that's West?

Erin said...

Yay for livin in da hood. If you ever need anyone to match socks I'm always around.

lisasmith said...

Erin--I don't know ya but can you come to my house?

Heather--In the MLS it says 5 bedrooms. Where are they? And, cleaning at night is a pregnant woman that never sleeps and a nursing mom who's up anyways thing. Like I said, haven't done that much lately!

Hendrick Family said...

Lisa,

I know! We have thought that the MLS was VERY misleading. It's fine, because we're going to add bedrooms...but two bedrooms are downstairs and then there is a loft area upstairs that in NO WAY could be a bedroom because NO FURNITURE could be put up into it because of the stair case that's in the house (tiny spiral). The other two bedrooms are the apartment that has a separate entrance. So...not really a five bedroom house like it says!More like 2 and some other thing!

You cracked me up when I read about you cleaning in the middle of the night!

Heather