She just HAD to wear it to her gymnastics class last week.
The dress that was packed away in a box in the top of my closet.
The dress I agreed she could wear into gymnastics over her leotard but had to take off before the actual gymnastics began.
The dress was at least 3 sizes too small.
The dress was the one she wore when she left the orphanage nearly 2 and a half years ago.
The dress that was given to her by the lady in the orphanage who was her special caregiver.
I know, it makes my heart hurt, too!
You see these past few weeks my Little Girl has been wanting to talk a lot about Ethiopia and she has shared some things about her life there before she joined our family that she had never told me before.
I don't know if it is her age now or emotional development or something about how secure she feels in our family, but she has begun talking about things we weren't sure if she'd ever talk to us about or if she even remembered.
What she has told us is not really different from much of what we already knew, but hearing her say it and share specific details we never told her, is a very new thing.
It has been so good and simultaneously so hard for this mama's heart!
I am so glad she feels comfortable and safe enough to tell me these things. I am privileged to walk this journey of healing with her, one that will continue over the course of her entire life, ebbing and flowing as she grows up and processes things differently.
But, I am her mommy. And mommies don't like sad and tragic things to happen to their babies! Hearing my Little Girl tell about things no child should have to go through makes me hurt on a whole new level for her. Which is a good thing.
I told her recently after she shared something (Remember we are keeping the specific details of her story private. It is her story to share with others when and if she is ever ready.) about her past, "I wish I could have been there. I wish I could have been there to make it better for you."
But, while I couldn't be there for my Little Girl then, I can be there for her now and I am so grateful for that.
AND I can be there for other children. To keep similar things from happening to them.
THAT is why we partnered a little over a year ago with a care point run by Children's Hopechest in Ethiopia, a new one just getting started. To help prevent children from becoming orphans, to provide for them through a local church with food, medical care, education, and best of all teaching about Jesus!
This summer I'll travel with my husband and 11 year old son half-way across the world so that we can stand eye to eye with Ethiopian mommies who don't like sad and tragic things to happen to their babies any more than American mommies do. And hug their beautiful children who don't deserve to starve or suffer from sickness, or loose a parent due to a preventable illness, or wander around the streets looking for food, children who hopefully won't have to become orphans. We can kiss cheeks and hold hands and play with kids and see the care point as it stands today and dream along with the rest of team about what could be. A clean water well? A school? A library? A medical clinic? Scholarships for the brightest students to attend university?
A better future for this little community in southern Ethiopia!
We can do for those children what we wish someone would have done for our Little Girl.