I'm not sure why I've come here to write. I'm sure that no one comes to this space anymore. I haven't been here in so long.
I've had some things rolling around in my head for a little while. I was talking to one of my more awesome friends :-) a few days ago and we were talking about my trips to Africa. She shared with me that she had been concerned about me taking Brenna with me. She said that she worried that Brenna might see the orphans and orphanages we would visit and think that those places were like where she came from -babies laying around in their urine not paid much attention to -and she (my friend) didn't think that Brenna's orphanage was like that.
It's easier try to forget. It's easier to not talk about the scabs that covered the back of her head the first time I met her from hours and hours of lying on her back in a crib. The scars that I still see every time I part the back of her hair to put pigtails in.
I try to forget that I was told that my baby had never reached for an adult to hold her. Before I got there when she was seven and a half months old and held her, she didn't know what being held was. That being held was good. After I left to come back home to wait on a court date to go back and get her, she reached for the caregivers as they passed by her crib. Still no one held her. There was no time for something like that. She was lucky to get changed when she was dirty. They didn't wear diapers. They wore wadded up blankets. That made quite the mess.
She was a big baby. I couldn't believe my eyes the first time I saw her, because so many from her country are very malnourished living in orphanages. Many get there to meet their 8 month old baby and find a tiny seven pound child. Brenna weighed 18 pounds. I was thrilled. I would later learn that what she was being fed was severely lacking in any nutrition. Until I got her home, her eyes were a gray color. By a year old they were the beautiful brown that they are today. Poor nutrition.
I know that the orphanage where she spent the first part of her life was a good place. I know the caregivers did the very best that they could with what they had. They had very little. There are no words to describe just how grateful I will always be to them for taking care of my girl until I could get there.
We have been so blessed. The issues we have had due to the fact that she spent the first little bit of her life in an orphanage are not even an issue. There have been some things that have been more difficult but not anything we haven't been able to overcome.
She definitely could relate to the kids she met in Kenya. She's still working through all of that and talks about the children there often. On one of my trips to Uganda I met another adoptive mom and got to spend some time chatting with her. She is totally amazing, BTW, and has many internationally adopted kiddos. I was telling her that I was wanting to bring Brenna on a trip with me but wasn't sure when she would be ready. Linny told me that she felt like orphanages in Africa would be just different enough than any of the pictures Brenna has seen of the Russian orphanage where she lived that she would probably be able to separate the two and relate but not actually put herself in the situation of the African children. I didn't forget that. I fought with God about whether or not to take Brenna with me. I didn't think she was ready. God prepared both of us, and we followed Him. It was hard, and it was perfect.
My heart breaks when I think that my little girl could have grown up in an institution. If God had not led me to her, I hope that people like us would go and hold her if only for a minute. I would hope that people would be the hands and feet of Jesus and GO and love on her. I hope people would go build playgrounds for my girl and her friends so that they could play and be kids. Most of all I hope people like us would go and tell her about Jesus.
Oh how I love this girl.