Friday, March 05, 2010

Relationship is everything

Meals out, the Circus, The Ballet, Shopping trips, parties at our home... These are just a few of the things that we have planed for the next few weeks and months in Central Asia.. They are all fun events that are designed to bring hope and restore dignity to those we are working with ..
Children that have been institutionalized , and those living in destitute poverty often feel that they are in this situation because no one cares about them... and if no one cares, what is the sense of saying anything about the injustices that they face... even if it is something that is deeply effecting them ... As Children are bounced around from home to home and orphanage to orphanage , it is easy for them fell less and less worthy of love. As well , they start to see those looking after them not as parental figures, but just authority figures.. Kids are not stupid... they know who is there out of responsibility or a job, and who those are that genuinely care about them.
That is why it is so important that as the children are moved around, we do everything we can to keep in touch with them.. to seek them out and continue to have interaction with them... As well, they need to have a trust in those that are working with us as translators... I know that there are better Translators out there that could be much more professional, but I am not trying to impress any one..Those that translate for us are first and foremost loving and caring people that have a heart for those we are working with ... They become in many ways more emotionally involved with the kids then we are ....
The "Fun Days" Are so important. they are times when the kids are able to step out from there circumstances and just be kids... but so often these times become more then that... Something as simple as cooking with them in the apartment can open up doorways into feelings and situations that they would never have otherwise shared...
Over and over we have been blessed with the wisdom of our friends from LAMb and the role that they are able to take as situations rise to the for front. It is part of something special that is going on. So often, while doing some menial task, when all is quiet, that small door begins to open ever so slightly... and with very limited language skills and sometimes great hesitation , it begins.." Dad ... you know how....." Some times the things that you hear are so horrific and so unbelievable that you are sure that you are lost in translation... but no ... what you are witnessing is the beginning to a LONG road to a sense of well being , and a sense that they are actually worthy of love. Many times we just carry on as if this is the most normal conversation in the world... But in side you feel your heart racing, you begin to get light headed, and begin feeling that sharp pain in your nose.... Fortunately words are not always needed, a gentle smile, a small comforting hug... just being there means the world at that moment... There will be time to discuss this more later and time to set up counseling with David and Jayne...but for now... you just BE THERE... I guess that is the crux of it.... BE THERE... JUST SHOW UP... that's it .. JUST SHOW UP....The rest is not any of our business....

This was all confirmed to me again today when I read the post of a friend of ours Cindy Lajoy. The Lajoys had three boys adopted from Central Asia, and have just returned home with 2 girls... Here is her post from today.

The girls are outside playing for a bit, I am sitting here typing because I need to "put this" someplace and need prayer.
We are making orange rolls together, Matthew is gone with Mr. Steve and we are alone, relaxed and working together kneading the dough, working the flour in gently, side by side the 3 of us.
Angela, speaks, not looking at me...
"Mama Petropavlovsk bad, bad mama..."
I, stupidly thinking she is talking about one of the orphanage mamas say "Which one?"
She gets a look of horror on her face thinking I have made an incorrect assumption that she is talking about me and says "Nyet you Mama!! No no! My Mama Petropavlovsk!"
I point to my tummy and say "Your first Mama?"
We go back to working quietly, Olesya saying nothing and apparently oblivious to the meaning.
Again Angela says "Petropavlovsk Mama bad...America Mama good, good Mama".
She then adds with hesitation and stuttering "Babushka...Petropavlovsk good Babushka, Mama bad..." then she points to the butter knife on the counter, picks it up and with a stabbing motion says "Mama...uh...Babushka".
She looks at me, will I accept this knowledge? Will I be able to handle it? What do I think of her because she comes from this? All is unspoken yet somehow understood as she stares in my eyes over Olesya's head.
I stop, I look at her...
"I am balshoi sorry, Angela...big...big sorry."
She continues to look at me, one of the few straightforward gazes we have yet had...
"It's OK" she says.
"I love you" I say.
"Da" she responds, head down. Then adds again for effect...
"America Mama good Mama."
Not often that the average homemaker discusses the murder of her child's grandmother haltingly over the making of a sweet role.
God, please give me wisdom, I need it now more than ever. Give me insight, give me the words when needed and the intuition to know when words would merely get in the way.

Thank you for the blessing of Angela and Olesya, let me be worthy to mother them the way they deserve to be mothered. Thank you that she felt safe enough to open up so soon, despite her fears. Thanks for Matthew,Josh and Kenny paving the way for these moments.

We have so, so much ahead.

This video I love... I have showed it before, but it speaks such volumes to me... You can see three kids in the video... each one of them have seen and experienced things that just make me sick to think about, but because of an unconditional love that has not only been shown to them, but has become part of their lives, they are able to Trust , to love, and show love to others...

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