I really struggled with whether to post about what happened tonight, but I feel like people really need to be reminded.
And reminded, and reminded.
There are over 143 million children like D in this world. Let that sink in.
The pain they carry in their little hearts is too heavy for them, and they can never put it down. It is so much easier not to know about them and their pain. (Life looks pretty ugly when you allow the reality of 143 million orphaned children to settle in your mind. I get that.) But, it is real. It is not a made-up number. It is not exaggerated, and their pain isn't either.
Tonight D was not herself. The reality of her impending departure is weighing heavily on her, and she raged tonight, but with a degree of sadness that I had not yet seen. Nothing precipitated it this time, she simply walked in her room after we got home, slammed the door, and yelled 'I hate you!'
I went in to try and get out of her what had upset her, but she just started crying with a depth of sorrow I recognized from when my father died. It was the grief we feel with loss. I immediately knew this was about her leaving, but I just stayed present and listened. She cried and cried deep soulful cries into her pillow and did not allow me to touch her. If I tried, she screamed 'YOU'RE NOT MY MOTHER AND NASTIA IS NOT MY SISTER. LEAVE ME ALONE!'
I spoke softly and told her I understood what she was feeling and that I loved her. She kicked and pounded the bed, and even pushed the dogs away when they tried to comfort her (as they always do when she cries.)
'GET AWAY! YOU ARE NOT MY DOGS!' She yelled at them, and pushed them off the bed.
She then fell deep inside herself and just heaved and cried and cried. It seemed like it would never stop. The pain was that deep. It just kept coming and coming, and I knew she was releasing a great deal of grief about a great many things. I waited. And I prayed. God, how I prayed.
Eventually, she let me rub her back.
Between sobs, she starting speaking 'NO ONE will rub my head at night there! NO ONE will stay with me! NO ONE will read me a book or hold me!' I knew she was talking about the orphanage.
I lay down next to her, rubbing her head and told her 'I will always be a part of your life, even when I am not with you. I will ALWAYS love you. I will ALWAYS pray for you. I will think of you every single day. When I am able, I will write to you and call you and send you things." I said everything I could think of without making any promises I could not keep.
'I will never see you again, " she wept, "I know it. I know it! I will never get to see you again...ever....' She fell into her pillow sobbing again. Her whole body was shaking while my heart spilled into a million tiny fragments.
I told her I loved her over and over again. After what seemed like forever, she turned over and clung to me. I sat up and pulled her onto my lap. She cried and cried into my shoulder and stuck her arms under mine and held on as tight as she could. 'Mama, mama, mama....' She cried.
I held it together. I needed to for her.
And after awhile, as it always goes, she stopped. She relaxed and let me rock her, and she cuddled in to me, but without holding on for dear life. And I held her like that and rocked her for a good 30 minutes more. Finally, in her own time, she got up and started to walk to the door. 'Where are you going?' I asked.
'I want to go watch Cinderella with Nastia.' and that was it. The storm was over, and the calm returned.
I followed her into Nastia's room and watched her climb up over her 'sister' and get cuddled under the covers. 'Ok, Nast, I'm ready. Turn on the tv.' She said cheerfully. She had emptied some of that weight in her heart, and I could tell it felt much lighter to her.
Last week I asked God to let my heart hurt the way His must. Tonight I think he answered my prayer.