Monday, January 23, 2012

It Happened

It happened. I knew it would ... someday. I knew it ... but nonetheless, I was not expecting it at that moment, and it hurt.

This last Monday Ivanna had an appointment with our wonderful pediatric ophthalmologist in our area, and so she and I were sitting in the waiting area. No big deal. However, we have taken to the routine of no longer giving her naps, so that she will sleep through the nights. Trade off? She gets a little squirmy in the afternoon, especially in public places. When she is tired, she tends to make more noises, fidget and just act a bit restless in general. To me? Just Ivanna. To my other kids ... just Ivanna. But ... to others ... a little different.

There were three other little girls in the waiting area with their parents. While I struggled to keep Ivanna calm and reassure her by rubbing her hands, etc. - I noticed that these sweet little girls were not playing in the play area, or reading books, or giggling or talking to one another. They squarely had their eyes locked on Ivanna. So much so that their Mother sort of gently tried to divert their attention ... with no luck.

What these little girls were doing was NORMAL, it was fine, it should not have bothered me. To them ... Ivanna was different, acting differently, looked different. I even had a moment of sympathy as the Mother who was red faced, tried to scoot their stares away from my little girl. I felt her embarrassment, I have been there before.

I blame pregnancy ... hormones ... lack of sleep ... whatever. But at that very moment I fought my tears. I swallowed hard as I kissed Ivanna's cheek. Why? Why was that so hard for me. It's normal. I have even expected it, and really those little girls were doing nothing derogatory. They were just curious.

I have thought about that moment off and on this week. I don't typically get emotional about things like that ... and like I said, it could be that perhaps I am a little sensitive lately. However, I can't help but draw a parallel.


That word. Never has it really bothered me. Mostly because I think the general population uses it so flippantly. So mindlessly. Not intending to hurt one particular group of people. Even after giving birth to Justus, people would slip and use that word in front of me, then catch themselves and apologize - but I really wasn't hurt by the word. Perhaps I even felt sorry for their juvenile expression as sounding inept, but never did it hurt my feelings.

But now ... I think of that moment in the waiting area. Those little girls intended nothing by their stares, and thankfully my sweet Ivanna was completely oblivious to the fact that she was drawing such attention. But still ... it hurt. It was an awful feeling to be confronted that yes, my daughter - and Justus and Max are different. Different to the point of sometimes being a spectacle. Different in the sense that they may not always act how others deem appropriate, and this will cause reactions. Different as deemed by others NEGATIVELY. Not different as I have come to celebrate it ... beautiful, joyful, full of spirit, unique, strong, so full of love.

So ... what if?

What if Ivanna had caught the glimmer of their curiosity? What if when Justus is older he overhears someone saying retard? What if Max questions why that word is used to define people (and him) in a derogatory fashion? What then?

I trust God will give our family the ability to graciously deal with those feelings and questions if and when they present themselves. However, I also know the hurt I felt on Monday in that waiting area. I realized the impact of a simple stare. I truly pray that my children don't endure hurt hearts simply because they exhibit different traits or behaviors. More than that ... I do believe now that God sort of opened my heart to the realization that I may need to gently remind those in our midst that the word 'retard' is just unnecessary. Now while my children are young, is a perfect time to learn that lesson.

Words do matter.

I'm also grateful God does things like opens your eyes through small little situations. Opens your heart through circumstances. All so you can learn and become better at what you do. For me, it's being mindful of how those stares or that word could impact my child.

Thanks for visiting. Please excuse the post dripping with emotion. ;)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Talent and Victories Abound

Max has just recently shown us his talented dancing. Here he is dancing as Isaac plays the piano. Cute stuff. Try not to fall out of your chair from such cuteness ...

These next set of pictures show another HUGE accomplishment in the Browning house! Justus is now a walker!!!

So very proud of himself!

Yay!!! Big boy!!!! I can't express how proud I am of you sweet Justus!

*just a question thrown out there to you fellow bloggers ... what is the easiest way to post a video from your iPhone?

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Burdened to pray

I will admit that when we first arrived home last year with Max and Ivanna, viewing the the faces and images of children still in the many countries awaiting families was ... hard. I truly did not have it in me ... and being so busy I would often avoid clicking on links, or visiting the Reece's Rainbow site. Not because I didn't care ... but because my heart literally aches so heavily in my chest - that at times I feel as though it will burst.

You see, I have come to a realization that my family and I are limited in our abilities. Yes, we have welcomed and adopted Max and Ivanna into our homes, thus also saving them from a dire fate ... but we, unlike our heavenly father are unable to save every darling soul whose images are sometimes so difficult to turn away from on my computer screen.

Why the hurt, after all we brought home two precious children?

I know that behind each "image" is a real and hurting child. I know that there are places within our world that these children reside in that do not offer the care they need. I look at Justus, or Max, or Ivanna and I see joy, love, and accomplishments. I know this is not what these children listed are experiencing. I have seen it, smelled it, and experienced what their day must be like.

I can't help it. I feel helpless and wimpy at times. I feel as though we have not done enough.

That is when I do all that I know how to do. I pray. I pray for each set of almond shaped eyes, each little round nose, each child to have adequate care, to experience joy, and to experience the love of our Father through gaining a family.

Tonight I am especially burdened. Over one particular region. Region 16 as listed on the Reece's Rainbow site.

Look at these faces ... and be burdened.

I think of Ekaterina. Beautiful baby girl. But ...

... that picture was taken long ago. This is her now. This is what having no family, no investment, and residing no doubt - in her crib have gotten her. My heart breaks ...

I think of Nathan. Robust, chubby, just like a baby should be. But ...

... again that picture above was taken years ago. No longer robust. No longer chubby. Eyes darkened with circles, and propped against his crib as if it is his jail cell.
My heart breaks ... again.

And then I see these faces. Beautiful. Still healthy looking. But all in the same region. Doomed to the same fate.


Pray that these children along with Ekaterina and Nathan will be rescued. REDEEMED.

Pray for Dimitry

Pray for Brock.
(look, look at his smile - may it not be hidden away until it is lost)

Pray for the other children in Region 16. Pray for ALL the faces you skim through that await families. Be burdened and pray.

You can click here to visit Region 16.

I may be limited. But God is not, for He is able ...

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