As many of you know, we started a blog series about our kids’ futures. We sat down with every kid that is a part of All Things New and asked them a series of questions about their hopes and dreams. With our younger kids, the conversations were a little less serious, but with many of our older kids we really wanted to know what we could do to help prepare for their future. We started blogging about each child in October, and you can see those blogs by clicking each individual name (Woodly, Herbison, Yolmenda). Until now we have taken some time away from blogging to get acclimated to life as a family of 5, but we are starting this series up again today with Apolon.
Apolon was our first “interview.” In fact, as soon as he found out we were doing this, his eyes kind of lit up and he was really excited about the opportunity to tell us what he wants to do. I think he was excited because, behind a stoic almost standoffish at times exterior, Apolon craves positive attention. This can sometimes manifest itself in pursuing negative attention, but he loves to be praised. Apolon has a quiet confidence (sometimes loud but oftentimes quiet) in himself and he truly believes he has talent. Even better than his belief that he has talent is the fact that he is an extremely bright and talented young man. Here are some examples:
- Apolon has improved his grades at school every single year, and has worked his way out of the remedial school he was in and attends Christianville now.
- If there is something broken, whether it be a bike or a television, it somehow ends up in Apolon’s possession and a few days later it is almost always working again.
- Apolon is the official “barber” of All Things New and is in charge of cutting hair every other week for our younger boys.
I could go on and on, but for now I will focus on what Apolon desires for his own future. He wants to finish high school and graduate, attend mechanic school on weekends and in the summer, and eventually open up his own shop fixing “anything diesel or gas.” That last sentence is just an overview of what Apolon wants to do, but the truth is, he had by far the most thorough plan for his future. He had clearly been thinking about it long before we brought it up, and he is smart enough to know his own talents and passions. In fact, the plan that he came up with for his own life is about as perfect of a plan as I have seen in a person his age. If you cannot tell, I am extremely proud of this in Apolon’s life. It is not easy for a 30 year old man to know himself that well, and Apolon seems to be getting there already. I just hope we can help him accomplish his goals and reach his dreams.
The truth is, Apolon can be one of our more difficult personalities. Many of the traits that I described above can show themselves in negative ways as well. For instance, when there is something that he wants to do that either us or the House Moms say no to, Apolon can get a very negative attitude. When Jess and I tell the kids when we are leaving Haiti each time, Apolon usually does a downward spiral and acts out. He has been left by so many people that, especially the first few times we left, he definitely thought we were not coming back. There are trust issues and he can struggle with his emotions. But he is really easy to love when you get to know him, and he is really fun to be around. He has a great sense of humor and he is extremely loyal to those who earn his trust.
Apolon has incredible potential. Please join us in prayer that we can help him reach this potential and become the man that GOD created him to be. If you are one of his sponsors, he is so blessed to have you as a part of his life, and I am sure he would love to meet you if you haven’t come down yet. He may be reserved at first, but once he gets to know you he will love you.