Friday, March 05, 2010

Prayers for Us Today...Please

The girls are outside playing for a bit, I am sitting here typing because I need to "put this" someplace and need prayer.

We are making orange rolls together, Matthew is gone with Mr. Steve and we are alone, relaxed and working together kneading the dough, working the flour in gently, side by side the 3 of us.

Angela, speaks, not looking at me...

"Mama Petropavlovsk bad, bad mama..."

I, stupidly thinking she is talking about one of the orphanage mamas say "Which one?"

She gets a look of horror on her face thinking I have made an incorrect assumption that she is talking about me and says "Nyet you Mama!! No no! My Mama Petropavlovsk!"

I point to my tummy and say "Your first Mama?"


We go back to working quietly, Olesya saying nothing and apparently oblivious to the meaning.

Again Angela says "Petropavlovsk Mama bad...America Mama good, good Mama".

She then adds with hesitation and stuttering "Babushka...Petropavlovsk good Babushka, Mama bad..." then she points to the butter knife on the counter, picks it up and with a stabbing motion says "Mama...uh...Babushka".

She looks at me, will I accept this knowledge? Will I be able to handle it? What do I think of her because she comes from this? All is unspoken yet somehow understood as she stares in my eyes over Olesya's head.

I stop, I look at her...

"I am balshoi sorry, Angela...big...big sorry."

She continues to look at me, one of the few straightforward gazes we have yet had...

"It's OK" she says.

"I love you" I say.

"Da" she responds, head down. Then adds again for effect...

"America Mama good Mama."

Not often that the average homemaker discusses the murder of her child's grandmother haltingly over the making of a sweet role.

God, please give me wisdom, I need it now more than ever. Give me insight, give me the words when needed and the intuition to know when words would merely get in the way.

Thank you for the blessing of Angela and Olesya, let me be worthy to mother them the way they deserve to be mothered. Thank you that she felt safe enough to open up so soon, despite her fears. Thanks for Matthew,Josh and Kenny paving the way for these moments.

We have so, so much ahead.


Lori said...

Oh Cindy, this brought tears to my eyes for those poor little girls, but my heart is so filled knowing that their mama is going to take good care of them and gently help their hearts heal.
Always, always, always have Team Lajoy in my prayers!

Shannon said...

Oh Cyndi - those poor girls have endured more heartache than any of us could ever know. Prayers go out to you and your family. I know you will find the right way to help them work through their past.

Kelly and Sne said...

Whenever I hear of the baggage that these poor children have to bear, it really makes me very sad. Nothing like doing something mundane to bring out this type of discussion... Hopefully one day soon Angela will allow you to follow up that "I'm sorry" with the longest and strongest hug she's ever had. And perhaps she'll be able to grieve and then let go of the trama. Your ARE a good Mama. The best.

Sara said...

I think I may have commented on your blog once before, though I followed along religiously while you 5 were in Kaz becoming 7. Reading this is absolutely heartbreaking, but I have to tell you that I am truly in awe of how much she has opened up to you. While I am sure it doesn't seem like it happened quickly to you, considering how emotionally traumatized she justifiably was by that horrendous experience, I think it says a lot about the phenomenal parenting you two are doing. You're doing a good job, Mama. A really good job.

Raynola said...

America Mama good Mama,
America Mama good love,
Montrose Friend, good friend,
Montrose Friend, good friend.

Becki Stone said...

Oh how very sad. You are all in my prayers. I pray that the girls can make peace with what happened- how horrible it must have been for them.
It must have been very hard for her to open up to you. I see this as an amazing step in your relationship. She may have felt that because of what happened in her family you would think badly of her. You are in my prayers. Hugs!

Anonymous said...

Dearest Cindy - I have not commented much on your blog lately, mostly because I remain in awe of all that is going on and all your other bloggers have done such a wonderful job of expressing so much of what I feel as well. Yet I will comment here - this says volumes about the safe and trusting relationship that has already developed between you and the girls. This is HUGE for Angela to be able to express this little bit of the horrible trauma she and her sister have experienced. And your response tells her perfectly that you can handle it and are there to hear more. This is another beginning for her on the healing journey you and your family are offering her and Olesya. Wow! Love all you LaJoy Angels! Miss Joan

Lenore said...

To the BEST Mama for those girls (and your boys too!) continue to be amazing in your ability to parent all of your children. My prayers go out to you and your precious girls. ((HUGS)) to everyone......

Dee said...

I have had to hear things like this from my kids and it is always hard. Just the other day Michael talked about the kids who beat him and left him for dead. He is still processing it 8 years later.

The fact Angela trusted you enough to tell you these things is HUGE. In Kazakhstan the daughter of a murderer would be reviled, even shunned. Heartbreaking, but so, so important for you to tell her you loved her. You said exactly the right things. You acknowledged her pain but didn't have a hissy fit about it. The very fact she said it in English is also a breakthrough. The only thing I might have done a little different is just casually asked if she wanted a hug. Then again, you know her better than I do and maybe that wouldn't have worked well..

Hang in there, hon.

Cathy from Montrose said...

Oh, the only thing I can compare this to is our trips to forensics at the state hospital with my students. The stories and heartbreaking. I guess you will never know if bad mama was mentally ill - maybe. Non judgemental takes on whole new meanings when we deal with this sort of situation. It sounds like you did great - KUDUs.

Shari said...

Oh, my heart just aches for those girls. I'm so glad they are now part of your family!

I worry though, that maybe you are sharing too much about their past on the internet?

Unfortunately, kids (and even adults) can be mean. Don't misunderstand. I don't mean your other kids would be mean to them. But I worry that down the road they will get teased or taunted with this very personal information from their past, by other kids who find this blog or overhear adults discussing it. And even some adults will be close minded and judge them, without knowing them, based on their past. Please consider their right to some privacy regarding their personal histories.

Tammy said...


I will echo what others have said. I am amazement as how quickly she trusted you with that information. I am blown away at the comfort she already feels with you.

God gave you the words and wisdom this time and He will continue to do so. There is a reason He brought you guys together and He will see you through.

Anonymous said...

Most of your comments talk about what a great mama you are. And you'll only get agreement from me. But let's talk about Angela! Wow! I am in awe of this girl. For her to be able to say this to you speaks volumes not just about you, but her too. The distance she has traveled in just a few months -- and I don't mean geographic distance!

Lindsay said...

You can never change their past, but their future is yours to help form.

I think the fact that Angela already wants to share this horror with you means that she is bonding, that she does see you in a very postive way.

Prayers for them in their growth and healing, prayers for you in helping them.

Jen Garcia said...

I will continue to pray for Team LaJoy - but whether you realize it or not, God has given you SO much wisdom and intuition to bring these kids ... each of them - all 5 of them - to the places they are ... you'll be fine. I understand how scary it is, and how much you question yourself, but you amaze me with your ability to connect with your kids - for you it's second nature. I wish it was second nature for so many parents out there. Good job, Cindy. God is with you. Big prayers your way!

Carol said...

My heart goes out to Angela. I am repeating what others have said, but it is so true... you are earning Angela's trust, and I am blown away by how quickly it is happening! Even though you two are still doing the "dance", she is showing definite signs of trust and a desire to open up to you. You are doing such a wonderful job with them, Cindy.

Keep the posts coming... I love reading them!

Anonymous said...

I agree with what has been said about how amazing it is Angela felt free to discuss this with you. I'm so thankful she has the English already to feel comfortable trying this conversation with you. I was also very thankful for how quickly our girls (and boys earlier) developed language to talk about deeper issues. I remember sitting with our 10 1/2 yr old daughter (home only two months) on the kitchen floor, backs against the fridge. She opened up about some of the sad circumstances that brought some of the other kids to the orphanage. She had arrived as a toddler, but she witnessed other arrivals which included police intervention, children arriving with bleeding, barefeet, and other situations that really affected her. While not as traumatic as what your girls witnessed, it still had a lasting impression upon her. I remember being so thankful and amazed that she so soon had the language to discuss what was on her heart.

Surely, as with these early conversations you are having with your girls, we used words, pantomime, "props", etc. This is what I remember praying for you while you were still in Kaz, that your girls would develop the language they needed early on to have heart to heart conversations with you. Another example of answered prayer, as I'm sure I'm not the only one to pray this for you.

Even though we're uncomfortable to be told our kids are blessed to be part of our families, I will say this to you! I am so thankful your girls (and your boys) have you to open their hearts to. This IS a huge step for that young girl's heart, as you know. Your reaction was just what she needed. I'm also thankful you had the background knowledge, so you were prepared for such a dramatic conversation.

Nancy in Iowa

Kimberly said...

Cindy - WOW! what a huge moment! That she felt safe enough to tell you those things is AMAZING this early in your attachment to her! My goodness - it just speaks volumes about how safe she is already feeling with you and just how very much she is processing and beginning to realize just what a mother should be!
Praying for more honest and insightful moments!

Anonymous said...

Maybe in the spring and part of your home school lessons you could let them design and create a small memorial flower garden dedicated to Babushka in your yard. Perhaps this would lead to conversations about their good (or bad) memories of Babushka and give them a chance and a place to mourn her death.

Stephanie and Gary said...

What a breakthrough moment and how much more was probably desired to be said if only Angela had the proper words to say. I think it was said in the simple words, the glance. She recognizes you worth just as you recognize hers. And she recognizes your amazing value in her life just as you recognize hers. Sometimes more is said in the silence. I think you did a great job and I bet your understanding and your love and support is what will keep her coming back to talk to you as she grows in her ability to communicate in English.

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