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Monday, September 30, 2013

Meet Mariam

Never before have I met a shorter, stouter 6 year old. I keep thinking
about my sweet Sofia back home in Colorado. She’s 6, and pretty petite
for her age, but she would tower right over Mariam. At about the
height of a 4 year old, I remember the first time Mariam greeted me
with her big, tooth-less grin. It struck me as odd that such a little
girl would be losing her teeth already, but I quickly learned that
Mariam was well into her 6th year. As with all of the kids at the

orphanage, Mariam would rush over upon my arrival to their play area,
but I was drawn to her from the beginning. Unlike some of the younger
kids, Mariam was helpful to the aunties – fetching the clean clothes,
retrieving run-away babies, assisting with meal prep and clean up. She
was gentle with the babies, and very playful with me. Initially the
language barrier was frustrating on both ends, but we quickly
developed a number of games that we play. My personal favorite is when
she pretends to sleep and I tickle her awake, but promptly blame it on
a nearby baby. She continues to insist that it was me, I deny it, she
goes back to “sleep” and the game continues. It amazes me that,
although we hardly speak enough of the same language to hold a
conversation, we are able to play and laugh for hours together.
Eventually, tired for all of the play, she will plop herself in my
lap, wrap my arms around her, and begin rocking back and forth. I have
to hold back tears when she does this because I think of all the
nights she wasn’t rocked to sleep and the times when she was scared or
hurt or sick and didn’t have arms to hold her tight and promise her it
would all be okay. She is loved by the aunties here, there is no
doubt. And she is DEEPLY loved by God, I know that for sure. But I
have to fight the pain that comes with the reality of her situation.
For six years, she hasn’t had a mom or dad to care for and comfort
her. Her mother isn’t mentally well and her father is not in the
picture at all. But what I love about our God is that he’s a God of
redemption and restoration. I found out just today that Mariam and her
sweet sister Madina have adoptive parents waiting for them in the
United States.  Parents who will be able to provide and comfort these
two precious girls. Parents who will undoubtedly fall as deeply in
love with Mariam as I have. I am so grateful for the ending that these
two will have. I find myself now dreaming and praying for her adoptive
parents. That they might be able to experience the same joy and love
in Mariam that I have witnessed on a daily basis. I pray they speak
French (she’s been teaching me little bits here and there), I pray
they understand how incredibly lucky they are to be adding this
precious girl to their family. I know I’m probably not supposed to
have favorites, but I can’t help it. Mariam is my favorite.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Emily,
I AM MARIAM'S ADOPTIVE MOM! I just sobbed when I read your post. I was SOOO excited to find it and am sharing it with everyone! THANK YOU SO MUCH for loving on Mariam and Madina. Give them huge hugs from us (although they don't even know/can't know about us yet!). And (of course this is spoken like a Mom), don't play favorites and be sure to give our Madina just as much love and care. Thank you for being there while we can't yet. We'll pray for you, too and THANK YOU for praying for us! PLEASE email!!!
karen.laduke@yahoo.com

 
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