It's taken me a while to be able to update on Lucia. The week we spent in St. Louis held much more than I ever expected and the Lord is doing much through this precious girl. She is a bright shining light to any who will slow down long enough to look beyond what they see and willing to listen to the words she speaks.
We had two women interpreters with us and through their help both Cephas and Lucia were able to pour out the deep places of their hearts revealing years of memories that were being held inside waiting for someone who cared to listen. Lucia said she kept them inside because no one ever asked her how she was feeling nor wanted to know about her feelings.
Surrounded by specialists and doctors, time and again she expressed her story with tears. I was watching her cleanse as she shared wisdom beyond her years. She longs to keep her native language to go back and speak to those left behind to not give up hope and to tell all of what God has done for her.
Many brought questions to her.
Lucia, who taught you about God?
Nobody. My heart told me of him and I believed. I prayed and believed that one day I would get out of there.
What did you think about all of that time that you waited?
I thought about escaping. I thought about the day when someone would come for me. The caregivers told me no one would want me and that I would always be here but I didn't believe them. (She always begins to cry at this point. I can feel the emotional struggle she endured of hearing the words against her and her fight to hold to hope.)
She went on to ask me many questions too.
How did you find me?
God brought me to your institution the first time. The second time I asked to find you. I remembered you from the first time I ever saw you and I prayed for you everyday. I walked through a few rooms before I spotted you again. Your dad and I committed to God that if you were our child then we would trust Him and come for you.
Why did you want me?
When I first saw you and from my first prayer on, I always heard the word "radiance" which is what your name Lucia means. You were highlighted on our hearts and just like you said God told your heart about Himself, so He told our own of your beauty. Our hearts began to love you deeply.
As we met with the specialists little pieces of her personality and thoughts were emerging. When the pulmonologist switched places with me so she could get a better look at her, Lucia warned her she was ugly to look at. This broke my heart to hear. She didn't say it in a self pity way but in more of an apologetic and embarrassed way. She is well versed in the words the enemy has used against her.
Her scoliosis is at 100 degrees. Her organs are being moved around and the ultrasound on her heart was unable to locate all areas because of the displacement. We have to be careful with her positioning because breathing is very labored in many positions and there are just few ways to have her right now.
She expressed thanks over and over to every doctor who spoke with her. Her humility and thankfulness left most in tears. She professed her dedication to working hard, doing whatever they tell her and to enduring the painful times. She said she understands that it will be a long road ahead of her and that the surgeries will be painful but that she knows it is what is necessary and she will do her best to get better.
She told of her dreams to do things on her own. She longs to feed herself, sit up, use the bathroom on her own and be able to help others.
I told her in front of the team of specialists, "Lucia, I think you bring healing to others as much as they are bringing for you." She asked me how. One of her doctors said, "Through your words." She said, "Well I do have a good thought process." Ha ha I love that she does understand concepts like patience, endurance, and good humor.
While is she older and wiser in many ways she also has feelings of wanting to fill in some past losses. She asked through the interpreter if it would be too much for us to take her to the store for her to pick out her own baby doll. I had already bought her an older looking doll but she wanted her own baby. We were thrilled to do that for her.
And I was sure that as I pushed her through the aisles to check out that no one around who was seeing her could ever know the magnificence of the moment they were honored with viewing. Everyone around busy in their daily schedule while a lifelong awaited dream - a miracle of life was unfolding before us.
This is how I see our days with our children. A new little miracle everyday.
In light of hearing all that was on her heart (and much I am unable to share until she is ready) I went back to watch her first video with her dad. This was the second or third day we had come to visit her. I can only imagine all that was going through her mind.
Lucia's First Dance
Before we move ahead with surgeries, we had to run many tests. She is too weak for surgery now and we have started some new medications to help her gain weight and to ease the pain. Her hip is all the way out and rubbing bone on bone making positioning that much more challenging. Her tooth is infected again and isn't scheduled to be removed by the oral surgeon until September 26th.
Thank you again to all of you who have followed this journey with us and I know there are many more who have given to help her come home than I even know. We pray blessings over all of you who took part in lifting her out of ashes and bringing her into this beautiful place.
Lucia is very aware of the children left behind and prays for them. Right now in particular she knows of some who stayed with her at Torez who have parents who are trying to come for them. She also knows of some older children, her age who have a family traveling soon and in much need of financial support.
I want to encourage you that your investment into Lucia is priceless - the words she speaks is evidence of this. She prays to be a voice for the silent ones in wait. Thank you for assisting her voice to be heard.