April 15, 2011

A Love Gift

Why do I do what I do?
Why did I make a career shift and focus on the mental health of young children?

This is why...

Today, I received a "love gift" from a little 4-year-old who out of respect I will call "Adam".

Adam: Gives me a non-working cell phone, "My Momma's on the phone."
Me: "What's her name? Momma?"
Adam: "No, it's 'B'."
Me: I grab the phone, "Oh. Hi B."

Adam: With a play phone to his ear, he watches me...
Me: "How are you, B." and I continue with a pretend conversation...
Adam: Whispers to me, "She's hurt."
Me: "Oh, I'm sorry that you're hurt. I hope you're feeling better."

Adam: Still whispering, "She is better, but a man pushed her." "A BIG man!" as he raises his arms very high.
Me: "Oh, I'm glad you are better, but that is sad a big man pushed you. That is NOT ok and I'm sorry."
Adam: "And, she has a hand disease."
Me: I stop talking on the phone and look at Adam, "A head disease?" as I touch my head...

Adam: "No, a HAND!!! disease." as he shows his hands.
Me: "Oh, a hand disease. Well I hope she gets healed of it and feels better really soon." I smile.
Adam: "Ms. Gerri, I'm gone make you sumthin'." He looks around the classroom, grabs a pipe-cleaner, thinks, and goes back for another one. After a few minutes of hard work and pokes to his tiny little hands. He gave me this love gift.

In 19 years of working with children, I think this is my most treasured gift. I showed Adam love and he immediately returned the gesture.

Adam is not on my caseload. Another child in his classroom actually is. Since Adam knows me from working with the other boy, he has gotten to know me and looks to play with me when I enter the room.

You see, Adam is in trouble in this classroom, ALOT. He actually was in "time-out" when I walked into the classroom this morning.

But, something about our relating together helps him feel safe, and you know what? I wouldn't trade that for all the money in the world.

That's why I do what I do.

much love


  1. Amazing story! I am now crying. Thank you for caring and showing the love of Christ to this lil boy.
    You're awesome, keep doin what you are doin.

  2. I am in tears. You are touching his and other childrens' lives in ways that you'll never fully realize. He feels safe because he knows your heart and your spirit. I see that same loving and giving heart and spirit in all you do, too. Have comfort in knowing that in a world where many children are forgotten about, you are making a positive difference. Now I need to go get a tissue so I can see clearly. Love you.

  3. people like you are truly 'gifts from God' to parents like me of 'special needs' children! without your support, insight, compassion and commitment, we would not be able to release our children out into the world each day with an assurance they will be well taken care of.....God Bless you my dear friend....love ya!

  4. Such a beautiful story Gerri. You are a gift to all these kids. You connected with that boy in a genuine way. Gerri, you're making a difference in these kids' lives.

    God bless you!

  5. I agree with Kelly, you are a true gift to these kids. I have teared up. I saw a very sad story on Oprah today and this just added to my deep feelings for any child in a bad situation. I'm so, so grateful that there are people like you in these children's lives. God's work.

  6. Our children need more people like you. Thank you for not being jaded by budget cuts and lack of supplies. Thank you for every tired mom that forgets to say thank you. Thank you for giving a child that one part of the day where he has something to look forward to at school. Thank you for working for barely nothing. Thank you for your compassion. Thank you for your strength when we are tired. Thank you for using the gift god gave you in the way it was meant to be used. Thank you for your guidance and knowledge. Thank you for serving in what can at times be a thankless job. Thank you for not changing professions when the pain of being able to help only so much becomes overwhelming. Thank you for living peace instead of just talking about it. Thank you for your long hours during short days. And most importantly thank you for taking care of our kids when we are not around to do it.

    Lots of Love and Blessings,
    Jane (A Special Needs Mom)

  7. Gerri, this is precious and amazing. The gift you have to relate to children and allow them to open up to you is truly that... a GIFT! I'm always in awe when I see you interact with children. How touching. And also... my first thought (even though kids make up completely random, funny and crazy facts) is I wonder if he really was trying to tell you something about his mama and being hurt by someone. He is in my prayers.


  8. Such a beautiful story. You are a blessing to those kids and I pray that God may bless you!

  9. you have a God-given gift, and I believe every child who gets to spend time with you has received a true gift from God. you show them love by giving of your time and I believe you give them hope by showing them there are people in the world that care. love you!

  10. So beautiful, Gerri. Nothing can replace the intrinsic beauty of what you do.


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