I have another child. She is a sweet, complicated 13/14 year old girl who is in many ways like a newborn. She requires near constant care and supervision, and she cannot (or perhaps, will not) communicate what she is thinking or feeling.
We went shopping today. I bought her a bunch of clothes and Maggie a few things. Once home, I reminded them they are the same size and can share everything. No reason why not, right? As I took the clothes out of the bags, I suddenly felt as if I had stepped into a veritable minefield of emotions! One misstep, or word, or even breath and it would all go KA-BOOM!!, disintegrating on the spot. Maggie claiming her territory and making sure its borders are secure, and Lenia, not trusting anyone or anything yet, giving me this look from under her lids which communicates all I need to know. . .
Except I don’t know.
I desperately want to know, but I don’t yet. I do not yet understand the nuance of an arched brow or a nose twitched just so – those non verbal cues we both give and receive that tell so much about our current state of being. I don’t know. I haven’t had her her whole life. I’ve had her full time for one week; Greg for two.
All that said, it is just that “knowing of her” which revealed Gods plan to me. “I’m SUPPOSED to KNOW this child!” came unbidden but loud and clear one Tuesday evening in April some three plus years ago. “I’m supposed to know her like I know Emma and Maggie – every mark on her skin, every crease in her hairline, every major or minor occurrence in her life. I should know THIS child.” . . .
As we settle into this new normal of Lenia being home, I am realizing a truth I already knew: Visiting our daughter every two to three months was nice, but now we are beginning from absolute zero in her now home. She must learn over these next months and years that her Poppi and I are truly safe. That she won’t be hurt in this house. That she has a real and permanent place in this family. That we mean it when we say, “You cannot make me not love you. You cannot make me send you back.” No matter how hard she pushes us, now matter how long it takes, we will love her.
No. We already do love her, and we will come to know her just as deeply and completely as she does and the Spirit wills.
(Si Bondye vle)