This week Ruen turned 9. He is an amazing young boy and he's growing up so quickly. Sometimes it's hard to see it in the chaos of daily life, but when I take the time to look back at the little guy who came to live with us almost 2 years ago the change I see is undeniable.
He still has just as much energy and passion for life. I really hope he never loses it. He's bigger than he used to be - although still small. In just this past school year I've watched him learn how to read and write in Khmer very well and his English (speaking, reading and writing) is getting so much better.
What I have enjoyed seeing in him the most though is the change in his heart. We have our days where I drop him off at school hoping I don't get a phone call from them during the day, but more and more in the last few months we've been having special moments of sweet conversations where I can see God bringing healing in his heart; where I can see him starting to think about some of what has happened in his life; where I can see him growing up and I am so proud of him.
Recently we've talked about deep things like who will take care of him and Rain if I die and how he wants to stay with me until he's really old. We've also talked about more fun things like when will he be allowed to ride his bike outside our gate. It was one of my favorite recent conversations with him and went a little like this:
How about 10 years old, is 10 old enough?
Maybe for riding in our village. It's more a question of seeing when you're responsible enough for it to be safe.
Do you think when I'm 20 I can ride my bike on the big roads?
Yeah, you'll definitely be allowed to ride your bike on the big roads by then. You may even be riding your bike to school long before then.
Will Rain ride on the back of my bike?
I don't know. We'll figure it out when you're in 6th or 7th grade.
What about 5th grade?
Really, Ruen's the best. Tenacious. Funny. Bright. Caring. Curious. I love this little boy and I'm excited to see what his future holds.