Ricky’s Story — Installment #7

This is taken from the journal I kept about the homeless boy we took in. It’s from March 25, 2017. I include it in this series because it shows the progress he was making after his first month with us:

We took Ricky to meet some people today that have two foster boys who were sexually abused before they took them in. The boys are 13 and 14. Maybe they could become friends. Ricky is a complete loner and could use a friend or two. Ricky was a little nervous about going, but we told him it might be a good thing for him, so he agreed to go.

It’s hard to know what to do. Is it a wise thing to have him hanging out with other sexually abused boys? Will they help each other or just feed their trauma? I don’t know.

We arrived at the home we were invited to and met the boys. They were really kind of weird. They would hardly say anything and they kept going under the table like they were hiding. Sometimes they would look at Ricky like they were afraid of him. I finally started wondering why they even invited us over.

It was all really awkward. So after a couple of hours being there Randy and I looked at each other and then told those people we had to go. That really wasn’t a lie, because we had made other plans for the day. We left there and told Ricky we didn’t think it would be a good idea for him to make friends with those boys. And he agreed.

Then we went shopping and let him pick out some clothes. We suggested some things, but he really has good taste and picked out some nice shirts and pants. There was a sale going on in one store, and we saved a lot of money. He got a new pair of shoes, too, because the ones he had were pretty worn out. After that it was off for a haircut. The boy looks like a real cool dude now!

After that we went into a camera shop because Randy is quite the photographer and needed some stuff for one of his cameras. I don’t know anything about this, so Ricky and I just stood around while he was talking to the guy there about what he was looking for.

There was another guy in there, and all of a sudden he was standing right by us and started talking to us. Randy was back with us by now, and that guy said he noticed us when we came in and wondered if we would want to model for some photo sessions. We just looked at each other and said we probably wouldn’t be interested in that.

Then he looked at Ricky and said ‘What about this young man?’ That made us real nervous and we wanted to know who he was and what he was up to. Randy even moved towards him, and that must have scared him because he backed away and left the shop. We asked the guy at the counter if he knew who that guy was, and he said he never saw him before. Weird!

After that we went to a pizza place we like and ordered a big one with all kinds of toppings. I noticed Ricky was a little quiet, so I asked him if he was OK. He said that guy in the camera shop gave him the creeps and made him think of some of the men who had used him for sex when he was on the street, but he was getting over it and not feeling so afraid inside. He said being with us makes him feel safe. That brought tears to my eyes and Randy told him we would do anything necessary to keep him feeling safe. He said he knew that and thanked us for all we had done. He talks a lot now and doesn’t look away like when he first came, so there is progress going on.

And that was our day. After that we went back home and hunkered in from the cold and watched basketball and had some hot chocolate and popcorn. Ricky sits with us on the sofa now and will lean against whoever he’s sitting beside. It’s just pure affection on his part with no hint of anything sexual like when he first came. I think he finally sees that guys can show him real care without expecting sexual favors in return.

What a change from just a few weeks ago!