“Every time we make the decision to love someone, we open ourselves to great suffering, because those we most love cause us not only great joy but also great pain. The greatest pain comes from leaving. When the child leaves home, when the husband or wife leaves for a long period of time or for good, when the beloved friend departs to another country or dies … the pain of the leaving can tear us apart. Still, if we want to avoid the suffering of leaving, we will never experience the joy of loving. And love is stronger than fear, life stronger than death, hope stronger than despair. We have to trust that the risk of loving is always worth taking.”― Henri Nouwen
We have a sad announcement to make: Kena and Daniela are no longer attending Roots & Wings.
When Maria picked up her girls from the daycare that fateful Monday, I knew something was wrong. Maria doesn’t get off work until 8. She shouldn’t be there. But nothing had prepared me for the news that followed.
“The girls won’t be coming to the daycare anymore.”
It takes a second for the words to sink in. “What do you mean?” I weakly respond.
We can’t share the ins and outs of Maria’s decision with you at the moment, but the announcement shattered our world, leaving us broken and scattered. We begged her to reconsider. We insisted she take some time to think it over.
But they have not returned.
It’s frightening. It’s angering. It’s a decision born of selfishness and fear, while these babies lose the only security they have come to know.
In Daniela and Kena’s short 1 and 2 years, they have experienced tremendous abuse and neglect. But they’ve fought. They’ve overcome. They possess a strength I can only imagine having.
When we picked up Maria, Kena and Daniela from Durango in March, we had no idea what to expect. Would they be hurt? Injured? Or in some other way irreparably damaged?
And when they came home, we wanted to do everything in our power to keep them safe. We welcomed them into our home. We immediately began bringing the girls to Roots & Wings.
It was one of the most challenging months we have ever endured. The emotional scars from the trauma they’d faced took no time rear their ugly heads. Kena suffered from torturous nightmares that woke her up night after night, screaming uncontrollably. Nap time was always a stressful affair as her screams would wake all the other babies and cause our older boys to recoil with tension.
We cradled her and prayed over her – pleading with the Lord to erase the memories and fill her little heart with his peace. Week after week we tried new tactics: changes in diet, routine, sleeping positions. But nothing seemed to soothe her tormented soul.
Then one ordinary day at Roots & Wings, we look over at Kena’s pack ‘n play to see her laying there, eyes open, wide awake. Calm.
Praise God from whom all blessings flow.
Quickly our hope for this baby girl was restored and all the frustrations and difficult moments we had been facing, they didn’t matter. She would overcome once again.
We watched and we cheered her on as she slowly began to heal physically and emotionally.
We supported and we encouraged Maria in her quest to provide a better life for herself and her girls.
We got to see Kena and Daniela grow in confidence as they began believing they are children of value and of worth in their heavenly Father’s eyes and in ours.
And it was beautiful.
We know that God is with us in this. We have felt His presence so near to us during this time. In the hurt. In the anger. In the sadness. HE IS THERE.
And I know this for certain:
His plans are greater than ours. His plans for Kena and Daniela’s lives have not changed – and God can take care of them even when they are out of our care.
So we might not be able to make sense of it. We may not be happy with the outcome. But we rest in it still.
Jesus is holding our sweet Kena and our sassy Daniela in his loving hands. And should they return, we will welcome them with open arms.
Kena and Daniela: We miss you beyond words. We love you so, so much. Jesus loves you. Always remember that.