Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Getting to know the girls

That's what we've been doing for the past 3.5 months. Can you believe it's been so long? For those of you who don't know...or if we never said it explicitly enough, the first three months with the girls were some of the most difficult of our lives. Slowly and surely, things are getting better and we're establishing routines. We're beginning to know what to expect from each other. The interesting thing is that the girls are both hard work...but also a reprieve when life is tough. They make us laugh with their beginner English and quirky ways. I'm starting to believe those people who tell me that things will look better and the girls will turn into a huge blessing for us. Although I don't see a lot of 'fruit' right now, I have hope. 

Just a few photos to help our viewers get to know the girls. 
Their favorite toys are baby dolls and they treat them just like real children. Today, Lemu took her baby to the toilet after I had taken her to the toilet. She knows just what to do and had some nice, soft leaves ready to clean her baby. They also love to carry their babies around in what they call 'kuku' (above).
Since the girls hadn't lived together for the past two years, they really didn't know each other well. But we've found them to be good playmates and they've begun to tell each other that they love each other. Janet is a worthy older sister and watches out for Lemu.
They still love to eat everything and anything put before them. However, recently they've been telling us what they like and don't like. We hear this is a good sign because the child is having control over choices in their life. And Terrill and I aren't fond of eggplant, so how can we force these children to eat what they're not fond of? Above Janet is sampling both macaroni-n-cheese and jello. She liked both so was alternating the flavors. 
 The girls are tumblers. They wrestle and tumble whenever an opportunity is given.
They LOVE riding in the car. I think it represents a safe place for them and brings some consistency into their lives. We make trips to Kaabong and Kampala...trips full of unknown things to them. All these unknowns can cause stress. But being in the car usually calms the girls down. It looks like Lemu is comforting her baby; perhaps she was modeling needing comfort herself?
Just since our return to Timu in June have the girls started getting into books. Before, they spent a matter of seconds looking at them and then they got tossed to the floor. First off, we worked on the proper treatment of books and them being placed nicely in the box. Then, we found that they were more interested if we looked at books together and explained what was going on. So many things are foreign to the girls about our culture. Talking animals? Above, they are showing a book to their Ik cousin. Janet was looking at a picture of an esophagus (in a kids encyclopedia). Her cousin wanted to know what it was and Janet didn't know, so she confidently explained that it was some sort of snake.

Janet is our village girl and is constantly climbing on things (like at this pizza place). She used to climb trees pretty often and that experience has translated into our context....which is what we want. One of our prayers for these girls is that they can learn to be bi-cultural. We don't want them to lose/forget their native culture and tongue, but we also want them to fit into (or at least understand) our culture. Will you pray with us for these children? Eventually, they'll have to sort through their confusing past to discover their identity and where they came from. We're hoping that they can reconcile themselves to and even thrive as bi-cultural adults. 


The Reeds said...

Such beautiful posts. I'm sorry it's been so hard. But what a beautiful investment. I can't wait each day to hear more (because you have soooo much free time now). ;)

Notinthewild said...

Love to reread this post. Something about crossing cultures that throws universal human nature into relief. But also the girls' resilient and forming individual personalities.:) Can't wait to meet them!