Yesterday two of my students had an assignment to compose a poem. They were reading various types of poetry in English, and had been struggling with the whole 'poetry thing.' I encouraged them to keep at it, though I might have said that they should quit at the Limericks, as they were pretty awful.
But these poems were different, they made me smile. They made warmth and joy well up in my heart. I asked if I could publish them, to which one came and said, "Yes," and the other ripped the page out of her book, so I am assuming in her Ethiopian way that this means, 'Sure!'
I am proud of my 16 year old, as she came here 3 years ago barely speaking English. We started her with mainly first grade curriculum and quickly flew through the grades to get her caught up to the grade she would have been in back in Ethiopia. It was humbling for her I am sure, because back in her village she was the number one girl student. Number one out of hundreds of others that somehow managed to arrive at school, often walking for hours to get there and have the opportunity for education. Here it was her against a language that was totally foreign to her. New beginnings, new challenges, but ready to rise to it all!
She is driven and really is a delight to teach as she is eager to learn. She carries with her a teachable spirit, which does my heart good for sure. She often has me in stitches as I grade her books. She tries so hard, sometimes it just doesn't say what she thought it said. I always thank her, as when you sit grading umpteen books, a laugh is a good thing.
But yesterday what welled in my soul wasn't laughter, it was pride. Pride from a mother who has seen a lot in raising a larger brood. A mother who has stood in prayer battling for her children, both physically and spiritually speaking. A mother who is passionate about rescuing orphans and believes in family- one the hand of God creates. Her poem gave me a peak into her heart and what I saw was encouraging to my mother's heart.
(I have not edited her work...so read it in its pure beauty. Coming from a girl who lived for 5 years in an orphanage, waiting and praying for a Christian family to adopt her. From a girl who went from barely speaking or writing English to one who is composing Psalms, in her new 3 year old language...)
Psalm...by Ethiopian daughter
I lift up my soul to praise your Name
Because you deliver me from evil eyes
Your protection guides me through the life
Your the Light to my past that guides me
Your are the hope, when I need
You are the confidence that I seek
I gave you thanks for all you have done for me
I promise to fellow you from this day to the end.
What I would tell you about my 14 year old, is that she came to us at 3 pretty broken. We fought a very difficult fight to get her adopted and to make her our forever daughter. She had many fears and we were told she would never attach to anyone normally. We never bought their lies. We never applied them to either our hearts or hers. When she went catatonic during rainstorms, we comforted her
and taught her how to dance in puddles.
"The experts" called us miracle workers, they said they couldn't believe this was the same child that their paperwork declared. I smiled and gave the glory to God, who allowed us to be instruments in her healing. That is why I hate labels, they can ruin and destroy a life. What I do believe in is prayer, hope, trust and more prayer...I have seen it work first hand.
This beautiful girl is a joy,
she is a lover of not only her family,
but of the One who called her to Himself.
Psalm...by Princess Sunshine
O Lord I praise you
for all you have done in my life.
O Lord I thank you for restoring and rescuing me.
O Lord I praise you for giving
me this family I have.
O Lord work in this family
I have, as well as in me.
O Lord teach us to love
each other, like you said
in your commandments.
O Lord I thank you.