Returning from our vacation was a difficult decision. Sometimes this place feels so hopeless.
We have come into some really difficult situations. There was the abuse situation, some complex relationships… then on Thursday, one of our best little friends, Musana, left for Bangkok.
I’m not sure I can capture my feelings.
She’s eleven. She’s the one that just moved further away last week and nearly broke my heart then. Now her mom, who has lived in Bangkok at least since we’ve lived here, has called for her to be there.
I have so many questions. I don’t know why a mother that didn’t want to raise her for the past six years now wants her. I don’t know what she wants her for–to truly raise her? For help around the house? For work? And if work, what kind of work?
I’m scared for her, beyond words. I’ll miss her, beyond words.
So will her little three-year-old cousin, Zen Yaw, who lost his first primary caregiver about a year ago, and now this one; after a move two weeks ago. He losing it, and I don’t blame him. All his stability and all his favorites are disappearing in the night, and that’s scary.
I don’t know what we’ll do, because we never do. We are asking questions and trying to make calls and trying to help. It sounds like her mom took another husband or something of the sort, and had a baby about a year ago. She’s now calling for this other daughter to come back and take care of the baby.
She is good at that. She’s great with the littles.
But she’s still just so little herself.
On Wednesday we were playing at our house per usual. We had just received a package from a church in the States, so I had pulled out a few new toys. She loved the Spirograph, but patience isn’t her specialty. We played together, and she held Zen Yaw while playing math games on the computer.
And then she told me she was going to Bangkok tomorrow. I tried to ask questions, and she started to cry. I was holding her three-year-old cousin, who is apt enough at recognizing stress. He started crying and said he wanted to go home. I asked if she wanted to go home, too; and then we all went together. I put them on the motorbike to take them around the corner to their new house.
I asked the grandmother a few questions and tried to understand. Musana started crying louder and saying she didn’t want to go. I tried to tell her we’d help somehow–was their anything we could do? In the end, I said to call when her mom arrived tomorrow to get her, and we’d come meet her mom and talk a little. Then I started to cry, so I said one last thing to her mom, gave Musana a hug and told her I’d see her tomorrow.
I thought I would. Stephen & I went to her house at 7am to catch her and try to see what the day would look like and how we could help and what we could possibly do. She’d already left. We missed her.
Stephen didn’t get to say goodbye. And I lied. I told her I’d see her tomorrow.
Just last Sunday I asked her and her friend, Yedi, about singing in church. Stephen and I have been asked multiple times to sing up front, a “special music” of sorts. We decided we’d like to sing Good, Good Father and have the kids help with the chorus, since a few of them have learned it from our OneHouse worship nights. When I asked, they were so excited. Our plan was to do it this week.
But I’m not sure I have it in me to get the other kids together. I’m not sure I can sing about our good, good Father without crying.
The neighbor kids decided one week on the way to church that it was okay Stephen & I haven’t had kids yet, but we needed to have them by the time I was 30. That seemed fair, I guess; so we went with it. It was just a conversation, right? That was about a month ago, maybe longer.
This past Sunday at church, another mother was holding her baby and I was telling her how cute he was. I was holding Zen Yaw, and she asked if he was mine. I explained his family situation with Musana standing next to me, and Musana piped in, “She doesn’t have any kids yet, but it’s okay. She’s going to have them by the time she’s 30.” I replied, “Whew. Good thing I have two years!”
“Two years!?! You’re only 28? I have to wait 2 years for you to have a baby?”
I was kind of hoping she’d get to spend a lot of time with this conceptual baby. She’s so great with the littles.
Stephen keeps reminding me that God loves her more than we ever did or will. That He’s protecting her and caring for her.
He’s her good, good Father, too.
And really, we realize this could be good for her: she’s with her mom and her sister. She is great at raising little ones. I’m sad for her education; I’m sad that she’s lost her friends and stability. I’m scared for her more in four years–when she’s a young teenager without an education and a baby that no longer obviously needs her–than I am right now.
And selfishly, I’m sad because it’s a loss to me. There are so many horrible things we see–so many horrible conversations and events and suffering; so many things we go to counseling for, guys. And then there a few things that God seems to put a sticker on–this, this is my good gift to you. There is a big, obvious sticker on Stephen. And there is a sticker on Musana. She & Zen Yaw were little gifts to me–a little piece of sunshine in the middle of the day.
But even our good Father who gives takes away, as well.