Monday, June 25, 2012

Ethiopia 2 - Scared Eyes

We rushed back from Assela to the House of Hope on Saturday.  We got back later than expected due to heavy traffic coming into the city, and we were trying to hurry because one of our friends was flying back home that evening and needed to gather her luggage at the guest house before going to the airport.  We picked up Feven in a complete flurry, quickly asking for the gifts we had brought for her the first time and trying to make a trade with a blanket we brought for a blanket that smelled like the transition home.  We said rushed goodbyes to some of her nannies with the promise to come back on Monday and say a "good" goodbye.  In our haste and scurrying, we forgot to ask for any kind of schedule for Feven.  In fact, all of our care questions regarding Feven remained in our closed notebook, not a one of them able to be asked.

We quickly piled into the agency van and drove to the guest house in the end-of-day traffic.  Feven looked a little concerned after having been rushed into the arms of (almost) strangers and taken into the van.  I held her tight and tried to reassure her that she was okay.

The rocking of the van calmed her, and soon she grew heavy in my arms and I knew she was asleep.  As we didn't have any sort of schedule, we figured that her sleeping was good and we should try to keep her that way.  We gingerly exited the van upon arrival at the guest house, and slowly made our way up the steps to our room.  We placed her gently on our bed where she continued sleeping.  Parent victory number one!

Now what?

Zac and I sort of just looked at each other in the stillness of the room and tried to comprehend that we were now a family of three.  Feven was in our custody, ours forever, and today was day one of our life as a family.  Simply amazing.  Finally, after all the waiting, the ups and downs, the struggles and joys, she was ours.  We were together. 

After some time she began to stir, and we both looked at each other with excitement in our eyes.  She was waking up!  We could play together!  We made our way over to the bed, one of us on either side of her, and quietly greeted her as she opened her eyes.

I won't forget what happened next.  Her eyes grew big, and without moving her body at all, she moved her eyes first to look at me, then Zac.  What I saw in her eyes was not love or excitement to be with us, but rather fear.  Her eyes took in the room around her, a room unknown to her and even how she got there unknown to her.  She had such scared eyes.

My heart broke for her in that moment.  I didn't know how to reassure her effectively that she would be okay, or how to tell her how great life would be from here on out.  All she knew was that she was not in the place she knew and loved for the last 9 of her 11 months on this earth.  She was in the care of strangers.

Oh, my little darling.  Hang in there.  Good things are to come, I promise.  You may be frightened now, but it will be small compared to the great joy you will feel in being loved so deeply by Daddy and I.

1 comment:

  1. wonderful post.....I am sure it is not fun to see scared eyes from your child, but none the less a real look at what is going on in their precious head. Thanks Amber!