We're creeping into the holidays now with one thing on our minds. Adoption. This process is so unbelievably slow and difficult to withstand. I want nothing more than to just hop a plane, see her face to face and say "we're coming". I just wish she knew that our hearts and minds are on her and that she can relish these last few months as an orphan because the end is in sight.
Who relishes time spent as an orphan? One thing I learned while working in Ecuador serving orphans was that up until a certain age, they really don't know their orphans. Our little lady is past that stage of course and being the sharp cookie that she is, she knows she belongs in and deserves a family.
I've felt a bunch of doubt from people lately; doubt that I can handle all this, even some doubt that she'll want us as a family. I can't say I know full well how things will be when she gets here but I can say that we are committed as a family to being her family however that needs to happen, it will. People have suggested that I will in some way neglect the needs of the littlest lady (due 2.9) while meeting the needs of the rest of the family. I'm not sure what to think when I hear this.
a. who neglects an infant? or a baby? or any child for that matter?
b. is the better option that our little lady remain an orphan?
These dubious thoughts and comments eat at me and they motivate me. We'll do this, we'll do it well and when all is said and done these "nay sayers" will have to find some juicer gossip to stew about because we'll just be us, still here, doing what we do.
So to all you doubty mustafas here's a glimpse into what started us down this path. The little lady's original profile.
All these kids are suffering by not being with Mom and Dad, but
Marissa is literally heartbroken and is crying to be taken home.
Girl, born August 2006
Lower extremities paraparesis
What a beautiful girl, with such soulful eyes!
Volunteers found Marissa when she was three years old. She could
barely move and didn't speak. With the help of our volunteers,
Marissa was treated at an orthopedic clinic where she was cared for by a
wonderful nanny. After just a couple of months, you wouldn't have
recognized this child! She started speaking (and not just speaking, but
speaking in phrases!) The treatment also gave hope that Marissa will be
able to walk. Marissa has learned a lot since we first met her. Most
orphans are somewhat behind the children their age that are raised in
families, and even more so if they have certain disabilities.
Marissa would definitely blend in with kids that are raised at home; she
is ahead of her peers at the orphanage. She has a wonderful memory, she
loves seeing her new friends and telling them about her life.
What our volunteers said about Marissa, October 2010
"Our efforts brought amazing results. Marissa's legs are a lot stronger
now, she can move them when she is sitting in a stroller and even lift
them up above her head when she is lying down! Just to think that, not
long ago, Marissa's legs wouldn't move at all, like the legs of a rag
doll." "Marissa loves car rides. She is used to me driving her to the
doctor and back to the orphanage. Recently, she has been asking me to
take her "home". It breaks my heart. I am hoping that very soon it will
be her MAMA, not a volunteer, who will come to hug and kiss her, and
take her home."
More Medical Information Available
Update, August 2011: As you know, Marissa was a
forgotten child until she was 3 years old and since that time the
volunteers are dedicating themselves to spend time with her
individually. Marissa has started to blossom: she feels her legs now,
she can control bowel movements, and hold urine for longer periods than
before. Now her mental development is corresponding her age group. The
doctors believe that Marissa will walk with the help of braces or some
kind of support. Even though she is still in a recovery period, she
already has weak movements in her legs. She did not feel her legs
Her suspected hip dislocation was not operated on yet. The child needs an operation.
She has some speech and developmental delays, but is described as 'active and inquisitive.'
That's our gal. Patiently waiting to be surrounded by parents and brothers and a tiny little sister who love her dearly. One huge difference between care takers and parents: Parents never leave. Orphanage staff go home each night and that is where their life, their family is. Then in the morning they return to the building, their place of employment, and that is where you (the orphan) remain, waiting for a life beyond the walls a life where you too get to leave.
We're coming little lady. We'll take you home.