Monday, January 27, 2014

slow and steady wins this race


 The cool breeze continues to surprise me until I remember we are on an island in the ocean, surrounded by blue sky and sea everywhere we look. Each time I taste mango juice when I expect apple or king-size okra where there should be green beans or hear throbbing melodies pumped from a mobile nightclub down the street like a Good Humour ice cream truck I realize: "ah, yes. we are, after all, on an island." And, every time I enter the doors of the baby house my heart calls out: "Lord, steady my heart - steady my heart - steady on, please, Lord...steady for my baby."

Today was a day of becoming like the furniture in the playroom, sedate and fixed. 
It was a day for observation, for watching, for sitting, and ultimately, for a decent sized breakdown for this lonely mama when my daughter was unfairly rebuked for a misunderstanding with another baby when the nanny missed the initial affront and only saw our child's defensive and (fairly enough) sincere response which included a shovel and pail and some hitting. My daughter burst into tears when her feelings were hurt from being reprimanded and I sat helplessly on the uneven concrete border around a towering oak tree a few feet away, watching her await a rescue from her nanny, tears falling and wails calling out with hurt. I watched as her feelings were wounded and her nanny responded patiently and picked her up and put her on her hip...and I watched. Y'all...I just watched. I had decided I would say: "It's ok, it's ok, I love you, I love you" repeatedly and that was my approach today. I was able to win smiles from across the room, my daughter diligently seeking out where I was at almost all times peering from around the nanny's shoulder or knees, playing peek-a-boo and grinning the smile of sunshine I have waited to see with the deeply-dimpled cheeks and pure joy radiating from her tumbly, made-of-sugar self. Today, we saw her...I just wasn't allowed to get close to her. Trade off.

Then, around dinnertime, I decided I had enough and I got outta there. I just had to weep for a while. It helped. Andrew talked some love and some logic to me and I let the tears just drip off my cheeks while I sat in a white plastic chair with my head leaning off the back of the curved back, my hair gratefully off my neck and the breeze floating off the mountains from the south whispering that this is not the moment for attachment. Even though the grins and peek-a-boo games were lovely, it's no substitute for knowing I can, at home, calm and soothe my kids but here? I am not only unable to fix her pain and confusion, but I am responsible for it. Painful reality. Hence, the weeping. But now, I am better. You guys have sent such love, such comfort - y'all, it almost leaves me undone. Your supportive messages mean the world to me. You have reminded me of how well my kids are at home now, how faithful the Lord is in His goodness, how much dividend this will reap, how much you all believe in her, in us, how desperate the circumstances are for so many other waiting children who are not being cared for with such an utter lovely embarrassment of riches and how you know we have doubts and fears and you insist that we trust and march on...you are holding up our arms and some moments, when our hearts ache while she snuggles her nanny and rubs her wary eyes and buries her face to avoid us, we are reminded how you are praying for us in a moment when we cannot. You are impossible to do without, friends. 

 Also, people are interested in what Andrew is thinking so here he is...

First, I need to apologize to you all that I'm not the poet my wife is when it comes to writing...but for all you logical/leftbrainer's out there...we'll be tracking.

Haiti is Uganda with AC outlets...that's my opinion on the country thus far.
Paula is the sweetest little girl, quiet and an old soul in a two year old's body.  My favorite moments in the day are catching those moments when she is burying her head in her nanny's legs and quietly turns her head to make sure Esty is still watching her.  Its those moments that give me hope.  I did teach the kids today to "blow it up"--bump fist together.  All the kids wanted to do it with me, Paula included.  They are a sweet children.

I am catching up on my sleep...sad that I have to travel to Haiti to make that happen.  I'm having a wonderful time with my beautiful wife.  The mosquitos are getting old.  ---Andy  

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