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Born only weeks after our wedding, this brilliant jewel has been waiting for this day.
She was born with cerebral palsey and orphaned. Until 2004 she resided in a rehabilitation type center. She was then transferred to a hospital for several months until she was moved to the level 4 invalid institution, the adult home where the most unfortunate are sent. Here she lay from 2005 until this last December 2012 when she was moved to an internat and some more focused attention.
** Thank you to Life2Orphans for your efforts at Torez to bring care in some of the most difficult circumstances. And we are thankful to the director for allowing L2O's work there.**
I first met this little sunshine in 2006. Her face could not be forgotten. A smile was always present.
What was under that smile? Was she aware of her own needs? Was she able to understand anything around her? I just didn't know at the time.
Well, let me tell you how awesome this teensy ray of light has blasted away at our wonderings.
She remembered when we adopted Maxim in 2010 and when our friend gave her the bracelet late last summer!
I asked her if she worried when we didn't come sooner. After all, many months had passed.
Right then her caregiver left the room and returned with her bracelet and relayed to us that when she arrived to the new facility, she let them know that she wouldn't be staying because her parents were coming for her.
She was laboring a bit with her breathing and often trying to find a comfortable position. It was concerning us. "Is it hard to breathe?" "Yes," she said, "very hard."
With graciousness she allowed us to look at her back. We were wondering what was going on. While we could tell just by looking at her that scoliosis was creating many problems, we couldn't quite grasp what was going on and the doctor hadn't mentioned her breathing troubles.
The best we can understand right now is that she has a very tight contraction on one side of her that has been holding and pulling her. That mixed with laying in the same position for a long time has curled her spine and ribs. She has a very large "hump" - rounded ribs on one side. It is most definitely pushing on internal organs and we think her lungs (or atleast one) is being pressed.
Some tears came to my eyes as we were putting her clothes back on her and laying her back. She looked at me and said, "Don't cry. I will be okay. I am strong."
I looked over at her caregiver and saw tears falling and her face turning pink. True beauty and humility tends to cause that reaction. 16 years and she is going to comfort me? Yes it appears to be her nature.
It's always me who keeps learning. I show up, but the precious ones do the teaching. Whatever little I will give to them, will never compare to what has happened in my heart, the deepening of my faith, the tenderizing of my will to more easily succumb to His. How can I ever turn away from an opportunity to see more of God?
Little bits about her personality....
She loves to know about people. Wants to know how they are doing and feeling. She loves stories with happy endings (she stressed that point) and dreams to learn to read. She cries when she sees another hurting and loves animals. She has not been out in the grass and would like to smell flowers. And she asked if she would be able to learn how to use a real toilet. Oh Lord, wreck me!! To have your mind trapped inside of a body that won't do what you want. Then to lay and lay and lay for thousands of days on end. God, have mercy, how does a spirit like this still shine?!
So here's the best she can sit up right now.
She can do this for about 20 minutes and then she needs to lay down because she becomes very tired. Because of the curving, you can see that finding a chair will take some looking. Our greatest concern though is on the airplane coming home. I think Cephas will be able to handle sitting up now that his surgery has been completed but I really think Lucia is going to need a big comfy chair that reclines.
I know how big the cyber world is and I am asking you if you might share her need to see if there is someone out there with a business class ticket or two (she will need someone with her) who would desire to give it us at an economy price. In this case I don't think we are only talking about comfort but the inability for her to sit for any real length of time.
We are flying home Lufthansa/United. No date set yet but it will probably be the latter part of April.
He has given me a new song to sing,