In today’s episode of Adventure with Josh we will take a look at some of the happenings since the last post. Included: Run-away teenager hunting.
Last night we (my family) got the call that a couple of teenagers in our church had run away from their home. The situation was relatively unusual. These are adopted teenagers, who are full-blooded brother and sister, one year apart in age. They have a half-sister one more year older who has also been adopted by the same family. They have all been with this family for a number of years, but it hasn’t been for their whole lives. The family also is serving as a foster home for two more, younger, girls. My father and I headed out to help in the search for the boy and girl last within minutes of getting the call.
You see, we’ve got a soft spot in our hearts for these kids. Although it wasn’t wise for them to run-away, I do sympathize with them a bit, and wasn’t that surprised when it happened. The adoptive father is a big-time basketball parent; he stresses basketball on these kids to the point where it is ridiculous, (which is odd given he’s a scrawny little white man). The kids really don’t have potential to get a college scholarship through this, but nevertheless, he pushes and pushes. The kids like basketball, but not that much; they just want to have fun and do really desire to compete that much. There are some other issues that are in this family, but I’ll leave those alone for now. We searched for the kids for well over an hour, and were almost ready to get the sheriff’s department involved. Fortunately, the teenagers eventually did call home after failing to find someone they knew to take them in for the night. They had actually made a couple miles to a nearby restaurant, but they were at least smart enough to know when to call it quits.
To me this “runaway” was more of a cry for help than a real attempt to leave. I don’t think they ever had the intention of staying away for good, but more to just give a jolt to their adoptive parents, especially their father. This father doesn’t seem to know how to discipline effectively nor express genuine love. He’s not abusive… in fact I think the kids could easily overtake him, but if they feel as though they have to be basketball masters to get love, it has very near the same effect as neglect.
This begs me to ask of you readers, when is it appropriate for teenager (15 and 16 in this case), to either runaway as a threat or runaway for real, if ever? Obviously, this wasn’t the best way to handle the situation, but to their hasty wisdom, it seemed the best way. Please, share your thoughts.
There is more to this story, but I don’t think it would be appropriate for me to go into more detail.