Pieces of the Child

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Chapter 74: Mirror of the Creator
(by NativeRose, added on 11 November 2007 10:34 PM)

Corrine slowly walked toward Kennan and spoke softly as she approached so as not to startle him.
"Would you like to go for a walk?" Corrine had noticed that Kennan seemed to respond better to one-on-one contact. After she saw his reaction to Emily, she thought he might enjoy what nature could provide. Based on what she had read in reports, Kennan was developmentally delayed due to shaken baby syndrome. He was at the level of an infant, and Corrine knew they had to take life down to his level. Kennan had to start at the beginning, because no one had ever shown him his world. He was never allowed to explore. His teachers did no better than his parents and the foster family. Jamison, Brandon, Candice, Emily, anela, Janell Corrine and Amy were determined to show Kennan who God was through his environment. These thoughts circulated through her mind as she waited for Kennan to decide if he wanted a calming walk around the neighborhood. Kennan did not respond.
"It will be fun. We can feell the sunshine and listen to the birds. Then we can go listen to the river and see what trees look like."
Kennan slowly, hesitantly, typed a response. "I...guess."
"come on! It will be great!" Corrine went for her shoes and to inform Jamison of their whereabouts.
"You're so perceptive, Corrine. You make an amazing mother!"
"Well, thank you. And your sensetivity and willingness to express your love is admirable. I appreciate it, and I know it helps them see God in you."

Kennan seemed startled when Corrine began to put sunscreen on him. I should have told him, she thought.
"This is coconut," she said, putting the bottle under his nose. He must have liked the scent, for he smiled. Kennan's mommy and daddy had never shown him this stuff. They always left him in his room, and he could tell they only talked to or touched him when they had to. Kennan could tell because of his mother's tone when she helped him with things. Then there was the first foster family. They didn't like him at all, and they hit him a lot. They were like his parents, in that they yelled at him a lot, and they weren't nice when they touched him. This family was new. Scott's family was nice to him, just like Jamison and Corrine. Scott and Bethany always wanted to play with him. Still, what if they all got tired of him and didn't want him anymore? Kennan liked the things these nice people were teaching him. He liked the sun and the birds. He liked the water and the flowers. Most of all, he liked the way people talked to and touched him.
As Corrine pushed Kennan down the tree-lined street, she told him about the things around him.
"Touch the tree, Kennan," she began, as she maneuvered his wheelchair and guided his hand to the trunk.
"That's rough, and it's called bark. Here is another part of the tree. See how it feels different? The bark is rough, but the leaf is soft and smooth." As she explained, she put the bark in one hand and the leaf in the other. "Here is another leafe. It feels different; it is dry and crackles, because it fell off the tree. Hold your hand out." She crumbled the leaf and let the pieces fall through her fingers and into Kennan's hand.
"Do you want to try?" She retrieved another dried leaf and showed him how to squeeze it.
"Now try it on your own." She handed him another leaf, which he tentatively crushed. He tried to do the same with the leaf that had been on the tree, but he discovered that it didn't work the same. Kennan was frustrated, so he threw the leaf on the ground and began to cry. He seemed more frustrated and angry than sad. Corrine looked at her watch and realized part of the problem could be that he was hungry. Luckily, Corrine always carried snacks with her for just such an occasion.
"Kennan, do you need a snack? Are you hungry?" The tears subsided, and he confirmed her suspicion with a tiny smile.
"Miss Anela says you like bananas, and guess what I brought today!" Corrine unpeeled the banana, and put it in Kennan's hand. It was clear that he had never touched such a thing with his hands. He looked quite startled and disgusted. Maybe he's tactually defensive, she thought.
"It's all right to touch it. It's a banana...see? Open up; here it comes!" She took it from his hand and raised it to his mouth. The expression of delight stated what he could not say. They rounded the corner that would take them down the street to their house after their trip around the block. Corrine saw that Kennan looked exhausted, and with good reason! They had so much to teach him, and she was grateful there was a great support system to help. They would work with him a little at a time to teach him that he could trust them; they all knew it would take a long time. However, he was already progressing. Two weeks before this day, he wouldn't have allowed anyone to touch him. It would be a slow process, but God's healing of the heart always did, and it made emerging more special because of that desert.

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