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I’m angry today. I’M SO ANGRY.
I’m angry because of what my child is going through.
I’m angry because of the pain my daughter has had to suffer as a result of the traumatic experiences she endured at the hands of the adults in her orphanage for 25 months.
They were supposed to take care of her. They were supposed to protect her. They were supposed to love her because she had no one else.
But for 25 months she did not get enough attention. For 25 months she did not get enough food. For 25 months she did not get loved. In fact, she was neglected. She was abused. And she now bears not only physical scars of that abuse and neglect, but every day she carries emotional insecurities as a result of those horrible 25 months.
My daughter is the happiest, friendliest 5-year-old you will EVER meet. But she is terrified. She needs constant reassurance and comfort. She needs to know that she will be alright, that everything will be alright.
Because of her insecurities she has suffered bladder infections and yeast infections as a result of refusing to drink.
Because of her insecurities Anna has a fear she will not get enough to eat. She does not know when to stop eating. If I don’t tell her which is her last bite, she will continue to eat until she is so full that she gags. And yet, she will refuse to eat if she has to feed herself. She fears that I am expressing a lack of love to her if I do not feed her. While she has been home for over 2 years, she is only just now learning to feed herself at the age of 5.
Because of her insecurities Anna bears bloody scabs all over her back. She scratches her back as a means of self-soothing. When Anna is in a situation that makes her feel uncertain, one of her coping mechanisms is to chew on her fingers. This chewing has caused her to develop a virus which causes ulcers inside her mouth. Open wounds, which are so tremendously painful for her that she has refused to eat, and refused to talk for two days now. My little chatterbox… not talking. It breaks my heart.
And it makes me ANGRY.
Angry that she was made to feel alone for 25 months; angry that this LOVING child was not loved for 25 months; angry that not only was she denied opportunities to thrive, but she bears the physical scar of having been tethered, restrained, physically kept from blossoming.
I’m angry that she came to me at the age of 33 months very much like an infant. I’m angry that her loving parents could not care for her beyond the age of 8 months because they did not have the financial means, nor an agency who could help them care for her medical needs.
I’m angry at a government who has imposed such strict regulations about parents only having one child, that parents feel they have no other choice but to abandon a child they cannot care for themselves. I’m angry that orphanages are understaffed and undertrained. I’m angry that this neglect and abuse happens in orphanages all over that country, to thousands of other innocent children.
I’m angry that I long to embrace my children’s birth country and incorporate a love for that country into their lives, but I can’t because I am so angry at the way they have invalued their most vulnerable citizens: their children, who also happen to be their future.
But mostly I’m angry that I cannot “fix” my child. I can’t take away her pain. I can ease her physical pain, but I cannot take away the emotional scarring left on her soul from those 25 months of “not enough.”
I love my daughter.
I want the best for her. And one day, God will teach her to use those scars as a testimony to His work in her life.
But today, today I am angry.