Monday, July 14, 2008
The Price of Compassion
When we returned from the United States in May, we found Maxime wearing shoes that had holes through the soles and were falling apart. We gave him a pair of Old Navy sandals which seemed perfect for summer. Since they were his only shoes, he proceeded to wear dime sized holes through both heels. When we saw this, Edna went out and bought him a new pair of shoes that would last through the summer. It wasn't long before Maxime was wearing his worn out sandals again. They were so worn out that his feet were being cut on glass and rocks and were a mess.
We took him upstairs to our place one day after a particularly bad cut to his foot and cleaned up his feet. He told us he couldn't go home because his parents would spank him for cutting his foot again. We asked him where the new shoes were that we had bought him, but he said he didn't know what his mother had done with them. Clothes that we had gotten for him were also nowhere to be found. We aren't sure what happened to his shoes, but Edna decided to buy him some new sandals and throw the old ones away for good.
This isn't the first time that Maxime's parents have totally neglected his well being to the point that it was criminal. We decided on Sunday, after church, that it would be in his best interest to contact Maxime's grandmother. We just wanted her to be aware of the situation. We don't mind watching after Maxime, but we couldn't stand to watch him live like this. It seems that our efforts to try and keep him healthy and safe are continually undermined by his parents' neglect.
We knew that the decision to contact Maxime's grandmother would come with a price and might even be taken the wrong way. Unfortunately we were right. Maxime's grandmother came to our apartment today to show us that she had bought Maxime some new shoes and didn't need the sandals that we had bought him. She politely returned the sandals and informed us that Maxime would be staying with her in the village most of the time now. She thanked us for the help that we had given him, but said that he was her boy and she would be taking care of him. Maxime was with her and it was all he could do to hold back the tears in his eyes.
We aren't sure how long this new situation will last or how long Maxime will be away, but we know that this is what is best for Maxime right now. Please pray that Maxime's grandmother will be able to better care for him than his parents did.