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“She Saw the Terror in My Eyes. He Just Stood There. Looking Up at Me With His Big, Empty, Chocolate Eyes. It Was as if the Lord Allowed Me for a Second to Peek into His Soul.”

He would run out of my classroom. Lock himself in the bathroom and bang his head on the door. He would hide under the lunch table. I found it ironic once, that the Special Ed teacher couldn’t help me get him out from under the table. He would have crying fits, sprawled out in the floor. I literally had to hold him like a baby. After I would finish the song I was singing, he had calmed down enough to get back to first-grade work.

For the rest of the year, he consumed me. I prayed for him on my way home. I talked to my husband each night about his day. I went to sleep thinking about him, and he was the first thought that passed through my mind the next morning. How could I love him better? How could he know love because of me? How could I break through those walls he built to protect himself? And show him he didn’t have to walk through life alone?

That kid with the story, he changed me.

By March, his little brown hand always found its place in mine. His tantrums still were happening, but he trusted me enough to get through them faster. In May, after MAP testing, I was amazed at his progress. I don’t know how that kid, or all the other kids in my class learned a thing that year. But they did.

I believe he is part of the reason my children are in their forever family. I always had a heart for the orphan, but after him, I knew I had to do more. He changed me. Forever. He taught me I was much like him. I, too, have a story. And parts of it, although different, look much like his. Broken. Messy. Damaged.

He will be a big seventh-grader this year. And even now, as I type this and think of him, tears roll down my face. He still writes me letters, sends me pictures, and I’ve heard from other parents that I’m still his favorite teacher. My former principal emailed me a video of him performing in the school play, and I literally watched it a thousand times. And cried. God has done so much in him. So much in me. And I still pray that if he hasn’t already, God would rescue his precious heart, and redeem every part of his story.

So with each start of a new year, my roster is all wrinkled and scribbled on. Those names have been prayed for. And I can’t wait to meet the kids with the stories. They make it worth leaving my babies at home.

It’s easy to get caught up in curriculum, new standards, lesson plans, paperwork, and duties. But teacher friends, pretty soon, there will be little people behind those names. Each with their own story. And I don’t know about you, but it’s not enough for me to only teach them. I want to always be their favorite teacher, not because I taught them to read, but because I showed them Love.

That Love. He is always the reason.

And you never know, those kids with the stories, might just change you.

Jessica Satterfield
Jessica Satterfield
Jessica has seen the goodness of God in the midst of the heartbreak of infertility and the joys of adoption. Her life has been one with lots of hard, but it’s in the invitation found in the hard, where she has found deep intimacy with the Father. She is an adoption advocate and passionate about encouraging other moms throughout their journeys of motherhood. She is a stay at home mama by day and writer/blogger by night. She lives in South Carolina with her life crush, Brandon, and their two heart grown children, Selah and Micah. She adores the Lord with other women through her online community and Bibles studies held in her home. Jessica’s writing was published in Adopted for Daily Life: A Devotional for Adopting Moms. She speaks to women about the faithfulness of the Father in her story, but how it can also be found in theirs. She is a contributor for an online community of mamas at motherhoodinspired.com. She would love for you to follow along in her journey at www.gracewhilewewait.com or on Instagram.

Chip and Joanna Gaines: 11 Godly Secrets to an Epic Marriage and Family

Chip and Joanna Gaines are teaching us important lessons about marriage and family as they walk away from their HGTV show for the sake of their family.

‘My abuser is here today’: Miss Kansas Uses Interview Portion of Pageant to Call Out Abuser Before Being Crowned

Miss Kansas 2024, Alexis Smith, has captured national attention not just for her beauty and charisma, but for her bravery in addressing a deeply personal and harrowing issue: domestic abuse.

Rory Feek Remarries 8 Years After Losing Wife Joey to Cancer

It's been 8 years since Rory Feek lost his wife, best friend, and music partner Joey Feek to terminal cancer. Now he's tying the knot again, this time, with daughter Indiana by his side.