Last week the second of Penelope’s room mates at Shepherd’s Field Children’s Village traveled to the US, joining her new family. In another month the third and last room mate (that we know of) will live a few states away from us. One of the girls will be joining nine children, the other girl will join four.
I’ve often wondered what the trajectory of Penelope’s development would be like with or without siblings. Unless something changes she will be an only child. An only child that we know of. She very well may have siblings half a world away.
The three girls were brought together due to unfortunate medical issues. I believe the parents of the girls faced a heartbreaking decision. Relinquish their children to fate and hope they have a better life or attempt to care for them. Medical treatment would be unattainable and the girls would most likely not survive. If admitted to the hospital, the parents could not afford the multiple surgeries required and potentially lead to imprisonment for failing to pay.
I’m thankful that each of these girls is alive. Each is receiving or has received medical treatment. Each of them will experience the love of a family. And each of them will have an ocean of questions to wade through as they develop and attempt to understand the circumstances that led them to where they are.
I hope they will have each other in the years to come.
They had each other during difficult times. The events are snapshots to us. We have scraps of information and pictures to construct a story. Based on what we know these three girls were together through surgeries, through loss, and through sudden separations from each other.
It’s 55 degrees. In our house. Our addition has a dedicated AC/Heat unit. So we’ve spent the last two days in here. The repairman will be out tomorrow to fix what I believe is a broken gas valve.
It’s 11:30 PM and Penelope is in her crib a few feet away. She’s singing to Jenn and making noises. I imagine the change in surroundings and a captive audience is too good an opportunity to pass up. Why waste this time sleeping!
When I get up in the morning I expect the temperature in the house to have dropped to the upper 40’s. Last summer when a capacitor in the AC until went out the house got up to 99 degrees.
It’s been a year of extremes.
Several years ago a manager warned me about my adverse reaction to change in our organization. Change, she explained, was going to happen, and learning to roll with the punches would serve me well. It may be the best management coaching I ever got and applies to everything, not just work. One moment we were enjoying our dinner when I noticed the thermostat temp reading was lower than what I programmed it for. The next moment we were moving Penelope’s crib into our bedroom and wondering if we would get any sleep with her in the room with us.
It’s a minor thing in the grand scheme. A weekend sitting in a frigid dining room eating dinner and spending hours in our bedroom.
It’s a major thing that our daughter is our daughter and in a perfect world would not be.
It’s a big deal that the two girls she spent her first two years with are coming to live in the same country and that they could one day reunite.
What’s that saying? “The only thing that stays the same is change.”
To all three of these young ladies I wish the best. I hope the depths of loss and change they experienced so early in life will be the catalyst for a love of life and beauty.