| Amy’s phone rang, shattering her thoughts. She put her Bible on the table, and reached for her phone.
“Is this Amy Rose?” a pleasant voice greeted her.
“This is Dr. Goldsmith, Miss Peterson suggested that I call you.”
“Oh yes, at first, your name did not sound familiar to me, then I realized you’re Candice…it just took awhile to put it together.”
“No problem. It’s not like you don’t have anything else to worry about.”
“It’s just that I didn’t realize you were the school psychologist, I thought you had an independent practice.”
“If this was a public school, the staff would object to my close association with the students, teachers and parents. To be honest, some of the parents think I’m too involved anyway.”
“I think it’s great. They really need the support you can provide.”
“Miss Peterson suggested that I call; is there something specific that you need to talk about?”
“Scott doesn’t seem to want physical contact at this point, and I know that’s normal. When I try to touch him, he tells me to go away, I’m not his mom, and she’s never coming back. How can I help him? Is there something specific I can tell him? Should I simply try to be patient with him?”
“Well, consider the events that took place. First, his mother, sister and the unborn baby were killed. Kyle felt guilty, so he distanced himself from his son. We’re not really sure how long Kyle contemplated turning him over to the state. He was already rather distant since his wife’s death, and probably more so after he decided he would give Scott up for adoption. In Scott’s mind, his father became angry after his wife’s death, that was probably directed at him in some instances. Then Scott was told he would go to live with another family—“
“I think I can see where you’re going with this. Scott feels like his dad’s anger is directed at him, and he thinks it’s his fault that his mother and sisters are dead. Then, when Kyle told him he would be leaving his home, he felt like his dad hated him. So first, he killed his family and then failed his dad. He blames himself and is probably pretty angry with everyone, especially himself. He doesn’t want to develop any close attachments, maybe he is afraid that everyone will leave him, just like his dad did. Maybe he’s afraid that he will end up killing everyone with whom he develops a bond.”
“You’re right, Mrs. Rose. He may think he doesn’t deserve to be loved, which is why he can’t see why you and Brandon want him, why you’re doing all these things with and for him. He doesn’t want God for the same reason: he doesn’t feel he deserves to be loved, and then, with all of the things his dad says about God…”
“I’m not really sure what to do.”
“Just continue to pray with and for him. Reinforce the idea that you’ll love him unconditionally, that you chose him specifically because you care about him, and keep telling him about God. Try to be patient with him; it’s going to take a long time for him to learn this, so repetition is good. Miss Peterson scheduled some time for him to come for a session this morning, and he should be here soon. I’ll keep you updated so you can reinforce the things he learns here with me.”
“Great, thanks for your help. I really think God has him there, working with you and Janell, in Anela’s class for a reason.”
“Janell is a Christian as well, and she has agreed to do something a little different for physical therapy today. Did she tell you about that?”
“Yes, she did. Okay, I just wanted to make sure you got the message…oh, it’s time for me to get Scott, I’ll keep you posted.”
When Anela saw that it was 10:00, she started to call Candice to confirm the time, when she heard the door open behind her.
“Hi Anela,” Candice whispered, “I’ll grab Scott.” Anela should have known that Candice wouldn’t forget; she took her job seriously, and it was clear that she loved the students.
When Candice and Scott reached her office, she asked him if he wanted to read a story.
“It’s from this book.” She held out the same book Amy had read to him the previous day.
“That lady…Amy? She read a story from that book to me yesterday.”
“Which one did she read to you?”
“It was about this person named Jesus, and how a bunch of children came so he could talk to them or something…”
“Oh, and what did you think of that story?” Candice asked.
“It was okay, but that happened a long time ago. Jesus isn’t around anymore, but I kind of wish He was, He seemed really nice.”
“If you were there, do you think Jesus would have talked to you?”
“I don’t really know. I mean, I’m just me…and my own daddy doesn’t want me! How could a stranger be so nice to me when my own daddy could give me to strange people?”
“Do you think Brandon and Amy like you?”
“I guess so.”
“Do you think they love you?”
“They said they love me…but I don’t know. My daddy doesn’t want me anymore because…because…” Scott’s bottom lip began to quiver, and tears filled his eyes.
“Because why?” Candice asked gently.
“Because I killed my mommy and my sisters, and then…I made him unhappy, so he hates me! What if…what if I do something bad, like I did to my family, and what if Brandon and Amy don’t love…or don’t want me anymore?” So Amy’s deductions were correct, Candice thought, as she turned to grab a box and another picture book.
“What’s that?” Scott asked without much interest. He took the offered tissue, and continued to stare at her.
“It’s a book called You Are Special, and I think—“
“No, that’s not for me. I don’t want to read that.”
“Why isn’t that book for you?”
“Because I’m not special. They used to love me…before I killed my mommy and sister…and the one I didn’t know. I’m not special anymore.”
“Okay, I want you to take this book home with you. I’ll put it in your backpack, and Brandon and Amy can read it to you.”
“I don’t want it!” Scott said angrily.
“And then,” Candice continued, “when you come back, you can tell me what you thought of the book.” She put a piece of paper in the book. Scott groaned inwardly when he saw what it was. Oh, how he hated those lists of questions. They weren’t like the ones the other teachers would give him, especially Miss Grayson…yuck! Miss Anela wasn’t so bad, but still…these were the worst. Miss Candice would ask about how the book made him feel, what he thought of when he saw a picture. Sometimes she would ask him to draw a picture of something that told her how he was feeling that day.
“Before you leave,” Candice was saying, “may I give you a hug? I haven’t seen you smile today, and you have such a nice smile.”
“Okay, I guess so.” Scott tried to sound exasperated, but she heard the slight note of joy in his voice. He desperately needed physical contact, something that was lacking since his mother’s death.
Scott wondered what to expect when the last bell rang. Would someone be there to pick him up? Amy had promised…but what did that mean? Sure enough, she was the first person to enter the classroom after the bell signaling dismissal rang.
“Hi Scott!” she greeted him warmly.
“See you tomorrow. It’s going to be a good day.” Anela said as Amy directed him toward the door. Anela’s words made Amy wonder what had happened in school that day.
“Did you have a good day at school?” she asked.
“It went,” he mumbled.
“Scott…” Amy began. She recalled Dr. Goldsmith’s words: Reinforce the idea that you’ll love him unconditionally…try to be patient with him.
“Yeah?” he asked sullenly.
“You need to know that we’re going to love you no matter what happens.”
“You can’t love me!”
“Why not?” They had reached Scott’s new home. Scott turned to see Brandon’s smiling face as he walked toward the van.
“Because…well, what if I do something so bad that you decide to give me to some other family?” Brandon had reached the van and was helping Amy remove the straps that held Scott’s wheelchair in place.
“Do you know what God says about love?” Brandon asked.
“I don’t care!” Scott shot back.
“Well, first, He wants you to know that He loves you,” Amy began.
“He can’t love me either.” They could see that they wouldn’t get anywhere with this conversation; they would continue it later. Perhaps the story would illustrate just how much God loved Scott and wanted to heal him. Brandon and Amy desperately prayed that it would be so.
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