Sunday, July 1, 2012

While Watching Airplanes Fly


I'm not sure what began the conversation at the breakfast table earlier this week, but all of a sudden I found myself engulfed in the mind of a 3-year-old as she began to unfold the memories of her final months in Uganda for the first time since she stepped foot in America.

We've never really talked about when mommy had to leave her at the airport or when daddy took her back to the babies home.  It's hard to think about. Goodness, I can't even read through Alethia's blog without tearing up.  I even KNOW the happy ending at the end of the story!  I can see her.  I can feel her!

But as she began to recount that season through her own perspective, I couldn't help but ask questions to see what that little mind thinks about as she remembers her past!

The memories have flooded in two other times since that first time.

In fact, it happened again tonight as she excitedly shouted, "Mommy, Airplane!  AIRPLANE!  Me and daddy ride on a airplane.  We come to America!"

I asked her if she was scared of daddy on the airplane.  She thought about it and then shook her head.

"Well, were you scared of the airplane?"  She remembered being scared and sitting with the nice lady on the airplane.  She also remembered the look of fear on her own face and the feeling of fear.  She pretended to be afraid as we talked about it...but that is all she remembers.  She didn't remember being scared of her daddy. She didn't remember daddy having to use all his might as he walked her back and forth in the bathroom stall, singing to her as he tried to calm her down before walking through customs.  Those scary memories just are not there.

I asked if she remembered daddy taking her back to "Laiti's home" (that's what she calls the babies home:).  She remembers Josh taking her there and she remembers Laiti sitting on her lap and Auntie Miriam, and wondering where in the world daddy went.  But then she said he told her "he was going to go see mommy, Zeke, Rainy and Cai and he is going to come back."

I asked if she was upset with daddy for leaving her.  She didn't even have to think about that answer.  She quickly grinned and giggled as she shook her head.

I then asked if she remembered when she had to say bye-bye to her mommy.  She got very solemn and quietly said yes.  But when I asked if she was upset or angry with mommy for leaving her she very firmly told me no.  Then I asked if she knew that I loved her forever and she enthusiastically said "YES!!!"

While I write this Alethia is sitting to my right and Cai to my left as they cuddle up close watching a choo-choo train movie.  I can't help but praise God for protecting her sweet little mind from what could have been one of the most confusing and uncertain times in her life.  God's grace and love has surrounded her mind and kept her far from bitterness and resentment.  Protecting her from the anger that could have occurred from leaving her behind after promising her forever!

She can't seem to get close enough to me tonight as she nudges closer and closer to me on the couch and gently rubs my arm.

I'm not quite sure what has brought on this flood of memories all of a sudden, but I sure thank God for hiding those scary times from her.

I'm pretty sure that airplane watching will never be the same for us though, that's for sure.

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