A Thief in the Midst

imagesFirst update in awhile and this one is so hard to write. We have a thief. Ugly. I want to cry. The first time we shrugged it off, maybe I didn’t really have the money in my purse.  I’m busy and maybe I forgot that I spent it.  It bothered me though.  I’m pretty good with my finances and would remember spending over $100.  And I usually use my credit card so I have record of my spending.  I didn’t want to accuse one of my children.

The second time we thought it was one of them but didn’t know which.  This time about $40 was missing from off my desk.  Then there was a third and fourth.  One time was from one of the other teens.  One time out of Tom’s dresser drawer in our bedroom.  I hate that someone went in my bedroom snooping through my drawers.  We watched for signs of spending.  Did someone have stuff they couldn’t account for?  We began locking everything.  Locks went on my office door, bedroom door and Katherine’s room.

Can I just tell you that I hate being in my home having doors locked all over, walking around like a prison warden with a handful of keys in my pocket????? My home, my place of sanctuary, has become a place of distrust.  I can no longer just walk in and out of my office because someone might sneak in there when I go to the bathroom.  That’s how the $40 came up missing.  I was gone a whole 5 minutes.  Of course I didn’t notice it until I had been sitting there awhile and they had all left.  Ugh!

So a few days ago I went to pay for something with cash and realized over $100 was missing – AGAIN!!!  My heart broke.  I had been so good at locking up everything but had been so busy on Thursday night that I left my purse on the table while I was making lunches for the next day.  Of course walking in and out of the room several times.  In that time one of them reached in and made a mad grab.

At least now I had a pretty good idea who it was.  There were only two teens home at the time.  Now to find evidence.  The last few days we’ve been watching and waiting for an opportunity.  And yes, I went through my teens stuff.  A mom’s gotta do what a mom’s gotta do.   This morning they were all down in the kitchen and Tom held their attention while I ran upstairs.  Looked under a pillow to find pants wadded up.  About $5 in coin in one pocket, a wallet in another.  Lo and behold almost $50 in the wallet.  Grabbed the pants and took them into my office.  All sorts of emotions going on.  I want to cry.  I want to throw up.  Someone I just spent tens of thousands on to give them a future is stealing from me.  It’s hard to process that.

We decided not to say anything.  Yesterday I found him with a gallon ziplock of sunflower seeds.  Asking him where they came from he first said a friend.  I said, what friend?  Then he said a man.  My voice raised a bit saying what man?  He was now all curled up, his body around the bag of sunflower seeds.  He finally says he shoveled snow and a man gave him the bag of seeds.  HA!  This being Novi and not Ukraine the likelihood of that happening is…. well….. about NADA!  So then he tells me that he made $5 shoveling and he went to the gas station and bought it.  Seriously do I look that stupid?  There are so many things wrong with that statement I’m not even going there.  One lie upon another.

Later he gets ready to walk out the front door.  I ask where he is going.  Walking he says.  OK then.  It’s a whole 6 degrees out, the schools and library are all closed.  Not sure where he’s going but figure he won’t last long.  He is gone 6 hours.  When asked where he was – walking.  Yup, sure!  Walking to McDonald’s or the store, spending my money on junk.  Candy, pop, junk.  The last stuff his body needs.  One wrong on top of another.  Does this kid have a death wish?

So let’s say you had money from honest work.  Then someone went into your room and took it like I did his pants this morning.  What would your reaction be?  I know 5 other teens in this house would be raising the roof wanting to know where their money went and who took it.  Not this one.  Quiet as a mouse.  As if it had not happened at all.  Seals the deal on that!  He knows that we know.

So now we are left with what to do.  This kid could care less.  He acts as if he’s done no wrong at all.  We haven’t addressed it with him yet.  Still figuring this one out.  I feel violated and used.  My home, my place.  I’m angry.  But sad, too.

Sad that this boy who has been given such a gift of potential, a future, is throwing it all away.  And there doesn’t seem to be anything I can do to stop it.  He is 17 years old.  In a short 4 months he will be 18.  He is digging a hole so deep he won’t be able to get out of it if he doesn’t turn around really fast.  How can I possibly allow him to get a job knowing he is a thief?  I can’t.  Should I warn his teachers?  What if I don’t and he steals from them?  I don’t have a choice but to let them know.

And I know, I know.  I know all the baggage that he has from living in an orphanage for 8 years.  I know that.  But at almost 18 you know right from wrong.  The boy has an open Bible under his pillow right next to the money he stole.  Which on some level makes me even angrier.  Those of you who know me know that I really can’t stand those who pretend in this area.  Grrrrrrrr…….

And the other teens are unhappier by the day.  They don’t like what’s going on anymore than we do.

The story will continue.  Right now we’re praying for wisdom and guidance.

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