Those who observe from the comfortable side lines have called her wild, immature, and manipulative and indeed she can be all of those things -
It’s easy to judge a book by its cover, or a person by a moment; the way they eat, or talk or laugh or don’t meet an expectation or unspoken standard we have raised unknowingly against them.
Her name means ‘sweet’……and beneath the first impression rough exterior there is a vast and unfathomable capacity within her to love, a receptive and willing loyal heart that she alone is still discovering.
Those rugged outburst edges are just a protective crust around the vulnerable and precious - A rough diamond for the shaping….. I’m convinced that as she continues to learn to channel the furious passion that drives her she can and will be unstoppable…..
Usually when you ask a 12 year old girl what they want to be or dream of they answer with ‘A Doctor’ or an ’Actress’ reply or with an indifferent shrug of the shoulders that conveys ‘I don’t know or want to think about it’ response……
BUT when asked the other afternoon what she wished for her life, the simple and matter of fact request that spilled out so openly still has me reeling and processing its true meaning:
“I want you to kidnap my siblings and bring them here to House of Joshua”
(Translated into English)
Back ‘home’ on the street there are others……just like her, scavenging in garbage cans for scraps, avoiding clashes with intoxicated adults or drug high gang members, sleeping on the hard cement slabs in shop doorways, begging, stealing, surviving…….children who have seen and experienced things I will never comprehend. That was her daily life just 8 months ago –neglected, shirtless, alone, hungry and afraid.
And now her first Christmas is just around the corner among the many firsts she has experienced over the past few months. How easy it is to take for granted a bed with a pillow, or a shirt, own a towel, underwear or a toothbrush…..the chance to learn to read and go to school, eat 3 times a day, sleep in safety, have a birthday (with a cake)….
Of course, I’m not going to kidnap anyone! (Just in case you are worrying!) –
BUT I am honestly captured by the simple realisation that there has been unmeasured worth to what has honestly been for us a weary and relentless year….
The doubts, confusion, tears and failings of trying to lead this family have filled barrels - but it has meant more than I really comprehended.
I found this note on my desk the other day from another of our adopted children....
They are just small little things.....but more than enough for me.....
This may have been a challenging year....however love is not wasted……and even if it were I would gladly squander it on these ones......NO REGRETS!