Life does not always turn oout like you think. Four years ago we accepted two little girls into our center, one was 4 and the other almost 2. They had some horribleness in their lives and the judges assigned me to be the guardian over these two sweet girls. We took them and loved on them. One couldn't speak, but had a great set of lungs. When she would scream you could hear her all around the farm and you thought she was being attacked by perana, but it was just that her sister left her to go to school. This went on everyday for months. She finally settled down and we had to work with her. She had some nutritional crisis and other things, but she couldn't crawl or move about. She was stationary. The girls started praying for her everyday that she would walk and talk. I don't think they have missed a day. When she was little it was easy to just carry her where ever she needed to go, but she was recuperating rapidly with her new diet. I told the girls they couldn't carry her about all the time and that she had to learn to crawl before she could walk. She was making progress. She started whispering.
We had a wonderful intern, Haley Harris that came to the Mission after the girls had been there for a while. She wasn't a physical therapist, but she studied up on what to do, after some specialists from the United States came on a team. They told us that she needed strenghten her hips first. So Haley brought a huge ball to the project and worked with her almost every day. She did the strengthening excercises she needed to do with little girl. She got everybody involved and all the girls were praying harder. She started crawling, and said "MaMa" a lot, and "Hola" but no long conversations. Yet she could get her point across, with point and gestures, about what was going on with her world. During that season Wes Robertson came down on a team. He was a great young person and just loved Mariela, and it just blessed everyone how he was so tender and careful with her while he was here that week. When he went home he told his mom and dad about his time with Mariela and told them they needed to adopt her. They knew all the hoops and complications with foreign adoptions, and even though they loved her though WES's eyes, they had to pray. God sent the Robertson's down to meet Mariela, and then the "love process' began. Normally we do not encourage adoption her because it is hard on the kids who are not being adopted as well as the ones who will be. But I was just open to whatever God wanted to do. I knew that Mariela needed special therapy that was not available here. Even though she had made tremendous strides, she was getting bigger and heavier, and it was harder for the girls of the farm to move her about. I was getting older also and my back just couldn't do the things I used to do, which was picking up feed sacks and carrying children.When Haley left, Ben Heathe took over where she left off. He was her "big brother" and she was crawling very well at that point and Ben provided muscles to move her about and our girls from PTC helped with her everyday, taking turns to help her out in what ever she needed. Her speech was improving and last year she just said, AVOCADO in Spanish, which was very difficult. We all just shouted.
The ministry got Dona Francisca this past year to come and help. She was a lady in her 50's and strong,but she was a sweet as anything and she was who God had for Mariela. She looked like a Honduran version of the Pillsbury Dough Boy's wife. She and Mariela loved each other.
The adoption process continued. Mirian Aguilar, who was on our board, helped get so much paperwork done for the Robertson's. She was amazing. She is a lawyer, but had no experience in adoptions, but she helped out so much by moving the process that was bottled-necked so much of the time.
God always made available a doctor that would tell us the next step to take with her. She continued to improve. She moved to a walker, and it was slow go, but then she got faster since the beginning of the year. He speech picked up. At each little landmark, we celebrated. Later on we continued to have other doctors continue to check her out. Everyone seemed optimistic. We carried her to specialist in La Esperanza who came from the city during the weekend. This past year we got a physcologist from Tegucigalpa, the capital, to come and minister to her and all the girls.
The adoption waa close, but knowing that made us all anxious. The Robertson's were anxious to get their new children home, but the farm took on another course. We knew Mariela was going to need the help we couldn't give her, but we loved her and didn't want her or Frances her sister to leave. Frances and Mariela started having strong personality glitches. We called in a physcologist and she said that was normal, that they knew what their life was here and even though the loved the Robertsons she said that they were anxious about the unknown in the States. So we continued, and the adoption process just happened and papers were signed, phone calls were made to come get the children, and it happened faster than we thought it would.
I am so thankful for the Robertson family. I don't know anyone who would take a child who has the challenges that Mariela has into their home. They have two kids in middle school still at home with all their extra curricular activities, that kids of tweens have, that are not going to disappear. They will have to deal with her mobility situations. I had 20 girls to help me, and they did a wonderful superhuman job of helping with Mariela over these past 4 years. But now the Robertson's have stepped up to the plate as a family and determined that they would physically, spiritually, and emotinally get her and Frances need to be. Through all of our joint efforts here at the farm, she was not potty trained, yet. The Robertson's knew that also. It is one thing to clean up a baby and a totally different story to clean up a soon to be 7 year old child. Yet they have taken that into account and they, as a family decided, that their lives as they knew it, were going to be permanently altered. O what manner of Love the Father has given unto us that we may be called the children of God. They are going to shine like lights about the Father's love. So we had a sweet time with the girls the day before I had to drop them off, and all of our girls got an opportunity to express how much they loved them and how much we would miss them. Some just bawled and left the room. The next day I thought I was prepared to drop them off.
I couldn't hardly function when I left from leaving them at the Hotel, realizing I was not MOM anymore. We all agreed that this was the best, and we knew we would miss them, but the scripture of I must decrease and they must increase, was screaming in my ears while I was driving down the road. Grief, loss, bitterness, and the feeling of ineptness, swept over me. We watched God bring Mariela back to life, and Frances came in emotionally scared and scared and left smarter and more confident that most adults. Were the girls and I happy for Mariela and Frances, and that God heard our prayers? We were. But when I got back to the farm, the girls, were grieving also. The smaller ones have been very clinging and even the older girls were being much more affectionate. I have just been weepy. So we are all in a process.
I want to thank everyone who helped with these girls at PTC. WE had team members who invested, interns who loved on these girls, Mr. Joe, of course who was Grandad, and others that I will never meet who prayed over their lives and over this adoption. Thank you, each and everyone for what you did for Frances and Mariela
I know that God looks at us in our helpless state and places people in our lives to cheer us on to the finish line. I know we have passed the baton to the Robertsons and we pray that as they go around the corner and we can't see how the race is going with Mariela and Frances, that God will go before them and clear the way and send other encouragers to them to help them until the race is done. As far as me and my family here in Honduras, we continue to pray daily as we always have that Mariela will walk and talk. WE miss Frances and her pixie little ways and her big chiclets smile and her hugs that she gave out liberally. There has never been a sister better than Frances has been to Mariela. This has been harder than we thought, but it has been good, to know that God is with us, all of us, and that really we are all one family and that hopefully we will stay connected across the miles. Blessing the Hurting Honduran MOM .