Only a few years ago she was a tiny little girl curled up on my lap soaking up affection like rain on the sun parched earth.... and now she is becoming a young woman.
There is so much mystery in her eyes, so much sadness that I can't reach. There is also so much resilience, poise, and strength in her demeanor.
I pray that the Father who loves her more than I ever could, and sees more than I will ever know, will reach in and heal, transform and redeem this little lamb.
I knew before we left Mexico that I wanted to do something special for just her. Sometimes a child needs to feel set apart, chosen.
Everything about her this year screamed "can you see me?" "Does anyone care?"
It was nothing extravagant Just the offer of a warm shower (a pleasant change from a bucket), some clean clothes, a warm bed, and just hanging out for a couple days. I think she enjoyed the break from being a full time caretaker of four younger siblings. Her role in the family is a hard one.
She is so bright. She so desperately wants to go to school. She told me that she doesn't go because she isn't allowed...she needs to be the functional mom and housekeeper. It crushes me...not because she is a helpful big sister, not that she comes from a large family, not that she lives differently than us rich Canadian white people...but because she has never had the freedom to just be a child...and it really doesn't have to be that way. There are other options. Some would say that the solution to poverty and suffering children is to eliminate the children. I would strongly disagree but I'll save that rant for another day.
While she was at our home I pulled out some of Silas' Kindergarten work for her to do. She loved it. She is a book work kind of girl. I wrote her name for her and she wrote line after line of each letter so carefully. I sent her home with a couple notebooks, one with the alphabet listed throughout the pages. On a few of the pages I wrote some simple Spanish sentences for her to copy such as
"Auntie loves me" ,
"Carmela is a princess"
"Jesus loves me".
I also sent her home with the Kindergarten math book. It's in English but counting objects and practicing writing numbers is fortunately bilingual.
We visited her home a few days later and she had came running out with her "School" books eager to show me how meticulously she had filled each page with letters and numbers. Incredible.
The other thing she really enjoyed was Aili's little paper doll fashion design thingy. The girls used the clothing stencils to fashion all sorts of designer outfits for hours. Even with the raggedy, mismatched, illfitting clothes she generally has, she always adds flair and creativity to her outfits. This girls loves to accessorize, and wear all things girly.
I'm so thankful that we had some special time with a very precious little girl.