I entered the country with our little BubblyGirl. I don’t have many early pictures of her. A volunteer from Germany was able to send me some of the pics of her from right around the time she entered the orphanage. Here she is with one of her best friends from the orphanage. They both look so tiny to me. But, they’re both survivors. A little bit of love and consistency will take them both very far.
Here is my first memory of our Bubbly. This was taken in April of 2009. Her shiny little smile can light up a room.
Except, she wasn’t so excited about day after day of embassy appointments. Because this is how we spent a lot of our days.
I wanted to have a fit in the back of that car too. Not really an option though. But, eventually, we did it. Pretty soon, we were on our way to JFK, visa in hand. That flight was the longest nine hours EVER. I think the poor gentleman next to us thought so as well.
I still have the outfit she wore that day. It seems so tiny now. We’ve gone from that to this. Can you believe it?!?
She still has the same shiny smile that lights up the room. But, she’s so much more now. I don’t question the order of events that brought Bubbly to us, it is what it is. Without my naivete and total lack of ability to see the abuse that was going on right under my nose at her orphanage, she might not have gotten out. Our Duo never would have gotten here. But, do I think for one single second that it was part of a greater plan for her to endure that one second longer than she had to so that the other children could get here? No. I absolutely do not think that. I don’t think that Bubbly’s abuse was discovered at just the right moment, the one moment that allowed the other children to get here. The very idea of that breaks my mom heart. It’s like telling a mom that one of their children will have to endure horrific painful abuse so the others can live. It’s an insult to Bubbly to say that it was part of Heavenly Father’s plan for her to be beaten and abused so that other children could make it to their adoptive families. It’s like saying that He thought she was worth less than the other children. I’ve actually heard this very thing said. It makes me furious. I don’t believe in a God that chooses to allow the suffering of one child so that another can get to their forever family. I worship a God that loves ALL children equally. Maybe Bubbly’s suffering wasn’t any kind of “greater plan”. There is wickedness in this world that can’t always be explained except by saying that some people choose to beat, abuse and harm children. God gave us free will, some people use it for evil. Do I think that God allows bad things to happen to good people? Yes. Sometimes they do. I believe in the God that helps you heal when those bad things happen. Maybe everyone’s story can’t be explained away by saying that it’s all “part of His plan”. Maybe…people don’t know His plan. Maybe…it’s not for people to try to explain or understand.
If I could go back to the day I met her, knowing what I know now, would I have held back on reporting the abuse just so that she and the other children could get here? No. I would have reported it the second I found out, just the way I did. If she and the other children were “meant” to be here, then they would have gotten here. I would have stopped Bubbly’s suffering, even if it meant that I didn’t get to be her mom. This is the very definition of being a mom. You put your child’s well-being before your own. It breaks my heart to think that she might not have gotten here to live with me. But, I would have stopped all the suffering that occurred in the year that I didn’t know about the abuse. I would have done it all differently had I known. I didn’t though, and I’ve got to stop blaming myself for that. However, I won’t just sit back and say that her pain was “His plan”. How do I look my daughter in the face and tell her that the pain she endured was all part of her God’s grand plan to get other children to America? How would she feel about her God then? I tell her that it is what it is. We thank God we’re all together now. We have faith that we can heal her heart with God’s help, and we move on. She is here now, which is a miracle enough, and we thank God for that every single day.
The specifics of Bubbly’s story of abuse is her story, it’s not mine to share. Some parts of it are too awful to discuss. Somedays, I pray for her to forget Ghana altogether. For the most part, she has. There are many children in the world that come into their new families with abuse in their past. I document Bubbly’s healing process in hopes that it will help, not only her, but other families who are blindsided like we were. Parenting Bubbly isn’t easy. Writing about the frustration of it all is an outlet for me. Being Bubbly’s mom has changed my life. I am not the same person I was before she came. I am fortunate enough, lucky enough, blessed enough to get to call myself her mom. That is my miracle.
Bubbly is not just her abuse. Bubbly is so much more. In the last year, she has become so much more.
She is strong. She is smart. She is funny. She is growing. She is my daughter.
–FullPlateMom, who thanks God that this is apparently part of His plan. We love you SO much Bubbly.